Blessing Others While Suffering

Josh Greiner March 26, 2023 1 Peter 3:8-12

1 Peter 2:12 - Keep your behavior excellent among the Gentiles, so that in the thing in which they slander you as evildoers, they may because of your good deeds, as they observe them, glorify God in the day of visitation.

3 truths to embrace to bless those who hurt you

I. Remember You are Called to Bless Others

1 Peter 2:21 - For you have been called for this purpose, since Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example for you to follow in His steps…

1 Peter 3:9 - …but giving a blessing instead; for you were called for the very purpose that you might inherit a blessing.

A. Give a blessing

1 Peter 3:10-12 - For, “The one who desires life, to love and see good days, must keep his tongue from evil and his lips from speaking deceit. He must turn away from evil and do good; he must seek peace and pursue it. For the eyes of the Lord are toward the righteous, and His ears attend to their prayer, but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.”

B. Speak truthfully

C. Do good

D. Pursue peace

II. Develop the Proper Character

1 Peter 3:8 - …all of you be harmonious, sympathetic, brotherly, kindhearted, and humble in spirit…

A. Harmonious

B. Sympathetic

C. Brotherly love

D. Kindhearted or compassionate

E. Humble in spirit

III. Rejoice in Your Eternal Home and the Lord’s Justice

1 Peter 3:9 - …for you were called for the very purpose that you might inherit a blessing.

A. You inherit a blessing

1 Peter 3:10 - The one who desires life, to love and see good days…

B. The eyes of the Lord pay attention to the righteous and the evil

1 Peter 3:12 - For the eyes of the Lord are toward the righteous, and His ears attend to their prayer, but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.

Our annual theme is Hope for Everyday Life. Believers should have a positive outlook on the future because we believe God will always do that which results in his glory and our good.

However, we have not implied “love Jesus and you will not have any problems,” or “follow Christ and he will give you whatever you want.” The Bible is clear that life can be hard.

  • Living as a committed Christian places us at odds with some people.
  • Living for Jesus sometimes means suffering at the hands of those who do not love Jesus as much as we do.

Amid suffering we were called to good deeds, to submit to government authorities even when they get things wrong, to bosses who are unreasonable, and to husbands who are disobedient to the Word.

These words sit heavy upon us. Husbands must live with their wives according to knowledge and show her honor even if she is... well….being “difficult in his eyes”

  • To make matters worse, the husband who refuses to do so losses the attention of God.

Maybe we need to rename the series …Depression for everyday life.

But it is right at this moment that we see the example of Jesus.

  • He left us an example (2:21)
  • He kept entrusting himself to the Father (2:23) knowing that God enacts justice perfectly (2:23)
  • So that he could accomplish the Father’s will.
  • His will was that Jesus bore our sins in his body on the cross.
  • We can die to sin and live to righteousness.
  • We have an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled.

Under the weight of mistreatment, reviling, insulting, and mocking Jesus endured on the cross, he entrusted himself, accomplished his Father’s will, and provided an incredible blessing for us.

Now, we are dead to sin and alive to righteousness. We are dead to sin and alive to righteousness. Isn’t that amazing? That is a significant blessing.

I realize that under each issue of submission, there might be some jurisdictional questions.

  • Can a husband tell his wife she cannot talk to a pastor because she must shut up and submit?
  • Can a boss or teacher place so many demands that the person can no longer fulfill his/her responsibilities at home?

Sometimes, there are hard questions. However, the basic storyline of this section is follow the example of Jesus by entrusting yourself to him and bless others with your behavior – even those taking advantage of you.

And for what purpose?

1 Peter 2:12 Keep your behavior excellent among the Gentiles, so that in the thing in which they slander you as evildoers, they may because of your good deeds, as they observe them, glorify God in the day of visitation.

With that in mind, please turn in your Bibles to 1 Peter 3:8. That is on page ______ of the back section of the Bible under the chair in front of you. Please follow along as I read. This is the Word of the Lord.

The title of this message is Blessing Others While Suffering. “To sum up” or some versions say “Finally” means that we are bringing the section that started in 2:11 to a close. Let’s center in on the main point: Give a blessing instead.

2:12 told us to keep our behavior excellent that as they observe our good deeds, they will glorify God. Then here in 3:9 we find giving a blessing instead.

Our world says, “I have to get mine.” “I deserve …” The Bible says, bless others --- even those who hurt you.

That is heavy. In fact, some of you might be thinking already. No way, Josh. I cannot do that. When people hurt me; I want to be done with them. I give them exactly what they deserve. Thankfully, this passage explains how to do it. I would like us to consider 3 truths to embrace to bless those who hurt you.

I. Remember you are called to bless others

1 Peter 2:21 For you have been called for this purpose, since Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example for you to follow in His steps

1 Peter 3:9 but giving a blessing instead; for you were called for the very purpose that you might inherit a blessing

It is hard to miss the calling language.

Believers often use the phrase “God’s will” to describe a similar idea. What is God’s will for my life?

  • We wrestle with questions like what job should we do, who should I marry, how many children should we have, what church should I attend, and on our list goes.

These questions are important, and I do not want to minimize them.

But nor do I think we should ignore the passages that clearly explain God’s will.

  • This passage tells me without a doubt that God’s will for my life … one of my callings … is to

Give a Blessing

This does not say “give a blessing” to all the wonderful people in your life. It is easy to bless those who are a blessing. Of course, we are going to do that.

  • This context says to give a blessing rather than returning evil for evil or insult for insult. The term for insult in used in 1 Peter 2:23 for “revile.”

Peter uses the same language to point us back to Christ. You were called to give a blessing amid insult just like Jesus gave a blessing amid insult.

  • I think that is so important because as soon as you take Jesus out of the equation everything breaks down.

The Lord knew that marriages would be torn apart, businesses could not keep talent, and countries cannot stay unified if each person evaluates situations only in the horizontal.

  • Without Jesus I will only scratch your back if you scratch mine.

Which is a good time to consider at the beginning of this sermon…that there will be a totally different life that we are all being called to…that is clear by the reading of the text.

And…what I just mentioned is that without Jesus…it will be quid pro quo….so what is the difference?


I think that is a good time to ask yourself…how often to you think like that?

In your marriage, do you think about blessing…do you think about loving…only when things are good?

At work, with friends, with your brothers and sisters in Christ, do you only think about loving when it is easy for you and they are loving you?

I think we all can be honest, the temptation is to only love with others love us…but that is where it runs totally against the Gospel.

While we were yet sinners…while we were his enemy…

Jesus says, I called you to follow me; I set the example and you benefited from that example; and now give a blessing even when insulted or treated poorly.

That raises a very important question. What does it look like to give a blessing?

Verses 10-12 are in a different font. In my Bible they are all capital letters. When I read the text, I did not scream them at you.

  • The all caps tell us that this is a quotation from the OT. It is Psalm 34:12-16.

That means we need to go back to Psalm 34 and find out why Peter quotes it. That is a principle of Bible study that can be so helpful for you.

Some times authors are only quoting a bit of a passage…perhaps it is the most germane…perhaps it is the most known… but anytime you see an OT quote…you should take the time to go back and read it in the broad context so you can make sure that you know what is going on with that passage.

As soon as we do, we discover that David wrote Psalm 34 while running from Saul. He looks for a safe place and pretends like he is crazy in front of a Philistine governor (1 Sam 21:10-15).

  • That sounds like David is in a desperate situation.
  • The Psalm devotes itself to the subject of God as a provider and a deliverer.

This is the perfect Psalm to quote. The context is just like Peter’s.

  • Peter says instead of returning evil for evil and insult for insult you bless instead because that is what Jesus did when evil people were killing him.
  • In fact, we can even add from Psalm 34 to trust the Lord because he is the provider and deliverer.

Peter quotes David to show this is how God’s people have always been taught to live.

  • When Saul was trying to kill David and David was so desperate that he had pretend like he was crazy, he wrote these words.

1 Peter 3:10-12 For, “The one who desires life, to love and see good days, Must keep his tongue from evil and his lips from speaking deceit. 11 “He must turn away from evil and do good; He must seek peace and pursue it. 12 “For the eyes of the Lord are toward the righteous, And His ears attend to their prayer, But the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.

Psalm 34 is a wonderful Psalm about God as the provider and deliverer. But it was not written during happy days. They were dark and difficult.

  • I think this passage shows us what “blessing others” might look like in normal life.

Jesus blessed by taking our sins in his body on the tree so that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. We cannot do that. We can give a blessing by…

Speak truthfully

The text says that we must keep our lips from speaking deceit …meaning…like the point says, that the words of our mouth must be truthful.

We are told to put off falsehoods….be deceptive. Why?

Because when we talk that way…when we think that way…inevitably our path will end up wrong.

One of the most helpful ways that I find in thinking about truth is thinking about something from God’s perspective.

Meaning, you might find something boring…lame…un-interesting…but what does God think about that item you are judging?

Often, God’s standard of evaluation is very different than one that you or I would use. The standard that God uses…that is called truth.

Our goal should be to have the same evaluation that God does…and that is truth.

Now just because there is a call to speak truthfully…that does not mean harshly or without any thought to how something is said.

Sometimes folks excuse their words, the presentation because they have vailed it in “Speaking Truthfully.

That may at some level be true…but if we are going to bless the way that God desires us to…we will have to carefully consider how we do it.


  • When you talk about others?
  • When you talk to yourself?
  • When you complain or slander

Do good

Friends, doing good has many potential options. On the surface it sounds clear. Do good rather than evil.

Good is what corresponds to how God would act in any given moment.

Meaning, God can only do good. He cannot do evil…because it is literally against his nature.

When we are told to do good, we are told to act like God would act.

This is an important way of thinking about what is good, not only because we dare not call God’s work evil, but there are many in our culture and society that would do that.

Some would say that calling someone a sinner….and calling them to repent…that is evil.

Some would say that saying there are only two sexes…that type of talk is evil.

Some would say that telling husbands to lead…and wives to submit…that is evil

And…it is not. The word of God tells us that these are really good things.

So…in our call to do good…good is measured by the word of God.

And when it comes to how you treat others…that should be measured by how you are doing good to them….

We are also told to…

Pursue Peace

This is not the same as “refuse to make trouble.” That is a passive response.

Pursuing peace is active. In fact, the two commands in the text are seek and pursue peace.

Let’s demonstrate that for a moment in a marriage…

Seek peace….what does that look like…

How many of you…when you lose your cell phone…are just like…well…I don’t know where it is…I will just give up on it? Maybe it will turn up.

Or how many of you…when you lose the only copy of the keys to your vehicle…just hope and pray that it will show up?

NO!!! YOU look all over for it…you tear the house apart looking for it.

You might not have your cell phone for 1 hour…that is not acceptable

But…when we lose peace in a relationship…do you put as much energy into finding peace as you do the lost trinkets that you are not taking to Heaven with you?

It peace is illusive…we try and try and try to find it.

Is that you?

The text also says that we are to pursue it….what does that look like….

Just picture for a moment a child that is running away from it’s parents…maybe even toward a busy intersection….

That parent will chase after and grab that child with all the energy that they have.

Failure will not be an option…

Dear Brothers and Sisters…in our relationships...if peace is getting away….run toward it…do not let it get out of your site…or your hands…

If peace is getting away in your marriage…chase it down

If peace is getting away in your Faith Group…chase it down

If peace is getting away with your children…chase it down

If peace is getting away with your church…here…chase…it…down!

Friends, follow Jesus. He died so you might live to righteousness. He set the pace and cleared the path.

You can count on this---if the Lord called you to something, then he will provide what is needed to accomplish his will. Quoting Psalm 34 reminds us that the Lord has been the provider and deliverer for a long time.

We can bless others as we remember our calling, but also as we …

II. Develop the proper character

1 Peter 3:8 all of you be harmonious, sympathetic, brotherly, kindhearted, and humble in spirit

This does not come naturally. Our personality cannot be an excuse. Our character must always go beyond personality. No personality is perfected like Jesus.

  • Our hope is not in our personality. It comes because we know we are dead to sin and alive to righteousness.
  • Our personality is not an excuse for failing to develop these characteristics.

I encourage you to identify the one that is most difficult for you and seek to take a step of growth in that area this week.


This is not referring to uniformity as if we all must be the same or even think the same. It speaks of getting along with people with whom we disagree. When you think about the word from the text…harmony…what is happening?

Are all the notes the same? No! But they are working together for something even greater than themselves…appreciating and valuing the differences that exist between each other.

When you look around at the people that God has in your life…are you really…really…really glad that they are not like you?

When you think about them…do you see how them being different actually makes it all work really well?

When we develop the character that God calls us to…we will live in harmony with folks.

Again…that does not mean that we cannot disagree…have different values…and such.

But the one thing that we care about more than us…is that our priority is on Christ.

  • Or for example….At church…
  • Did you know that not everyone will agree with every policy, procedure, or decision. That does not mean that our disagreement must result in creating division and controversy.

We are also told to become…


Now, right away…some of you might be thinking…you know…I like a lot of the traits and commands that you have been talking about…but that is just not me.

I’m not sympathetic…

Can I remind you that first and foremost…if we are growing into the image and likeness of Christ…that Jesus is described as our Sympathetic High Priest….

Meaning, if you are going to try to be like him…you have to be like him in this…so…

Do you agree that the Christian Church ought to be known for the way we celebrate with people experiencing joy and for the way we care for people during their struggles.

But…the reality is….

At times we struggle celebrating someone else’s success because

  • We wanted their joy (think of a baby)…we don’t have that…we are jealous…
  • It reminds me of my loss….when we see their blessing…it points to my lack of having that

At times we struggle caring for others in their hurts because

  • I do not know what to say.
  • I have never been through that.

Church family, we can work on this.

This works both ways…

We can say … when I experience joy I will try to sensitive to those who would like my joy … when I hear of someone else’s joy I will be sensitive to them by not raining on their party …

when I experience hardship I will not demand from those who are happy to feel all my same emotions … when I hear of someone’s hardship I will be sensitive to the hurts they are suffering.

That type of sympathy would be so radically different from the world around us…that it would surly catch the eyes of persons who do not know the Lord as their Savior.

That would significantly decrease the amount of conflict between people. Here is #3…

Brotherly Love

When we get lists like this it can be a bit challenging to distinguish the practical differences between the words.

What, for example, is the line where sympathetic stops and brotherly love begins?

I think these terms do have a lot of overlap…but they are trying to emphasize something unique.

I think that when we are speaking of loving one another we also know that it implies “having the other person’s best interest in mind.”

It’s easy to have our best in mind…and be OK if it benefits someone too…but to have their best in our mind…well that is different.

Let me ask you…when was the last time there was clear cut evidence that you showed brotherly love…a love that put that person first…to the people in this room.

A time when you can clearly point to and say…I did this and put that person first…because I wanted to love them.

And not just like…oh that was a bit inconvenience…but that this was a sacrifice for me…I had to give up something for that….

Would it have been a week?

Would it have been a month?

Would it have been a year?

To the degree that you would say that you are completely lacking in an example, would be that degree that I want to challenge you to live out this verse…like this week…

That you could come and grab me next Sunday…pull me…or someone else aside…and share a story.

Not because you are bragging…but because you found the joy of living this way.

And you know what would even sweeten the pot…is what Christ says about loving your enemies.

Now, I hope and pray that you don’t have any of those in this room…but there might be someone in here that you don’t always get along with.

That might be someone…well…was I the only person who didn’t always get along with their siblings????

Well…what would be amazing is if you loved them despite the differences and challenges you have with that person.

The text also emphasizes….being…

Kindhearted or Compassionate

This term emphasizes the emotion. It is often translated compassion. There is an inner feeling associated with the person or event….are you working to build that passion for them?

You do that by changing the way that you think about them…their situations…

Our feelings/emotions of compassion concerning a person or event should elicit some kind of response. Jesus was often moved with compassion. So should we.

The Christian community should be known for compassion and that means everyone must have it in their DNA. It is not just for the people we like best. Compassion flows to people who hurt us too.

The final one in the list is …

Humble in Spirit

There are only two paths in life – humility and humiliation. Yet, humility can be difficult to maintain.

I recommend Stuart Scott’s little book, From Pride to Humility. From that booklet….let me…because of the lack of time….pick a couple of characters that describe the humble person…

  • Has no right to question or judge God
  • Is overwhelmed with God’s undeserved grace
  • Sees himself as no better than others
  • Properly understand his gifts and abilities
  • Expresses thanks for criticism or reproof

These need to be growing areas of our character. It is difficult to respond well to a person who is not responding equally well to you. But the Christian call is not to treat people exactly like they treat us, but to bless others – including those who harm us.

We have seen that the only way to accomplish the command to bless others is by remembering your calling to follow the example of Jesus and to, by his grace, develop the proper character by increasing these 5 areas. That brings me to point 3.

III. Rejoice in your eternal home and the Lord’s justice

We can entrust ourselves because the Lord judges righteously. It would be one thing if we are entrusting ourselves to a biased person. That would be truly scary.

  • But following Jesus means that we entrust ourselves to the one who judges righteously. When he judges all of us will marvel at his ability to do it perfectly.

If carrying out justice is his task, then we can embrace ours.

1 Peter 3:9 for you were called for the very purpose that you might inherit a blessing.

You inherit a blessing

We already discussed that Peter quotes Psalm 34 to emphasize the reality that God has been the provider, protector, and redeemer for ages. He did so for David. He will do so for his people. However, we have a challenge to face.

At the beginning of v. 10 it says, 1 Peter 3:10 The one who desires life, to love and see good days. David emphasizes life on earth in Psalm 34. However, what is Peter doing?

Not everyone agrees. Peter’s audience, like David faced severe challenges. There was legitimate persecution.

  • I think “inheriting a blessing” refers to the promised inheritance of eternal life in 1:3-4 [read text if time] reserved in heaven for you.

Biblical writers are consistent in their theme that the glories of heaven are far better than glory of earth. Should we suffer here, it will be more than worth it in the end.

Therefore, we remember that we are released from the power and penalty of sin. We are dead to sin and alive to righteousness.

Is there also a temporal sense? I think the point can be made that following the example of Christ, fulfilling our calling, developing godly character during unjust treatment produces a satisfaction today.

I do not like being hurt, but it is very satisfying to respond to hurt in a way that honors Christ. Giving blessings to others is personally life giving.

The eyes of the Lord pay attention to the righteous and the evil

1 Peter 3:12 “For the eyes of the Lord are toward the righteous, And His ears attend to their prayer, But the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.”

This final point reminds us that the Lord knows it all. His eyes and ears are tuned to the righteous. Verse 12 is so encouraging, especially to men still wrestling through v. 7!

But God’s justice always has two sides.

  • He redeems and vindicates the righteous and he punishes the wicked.


Josh Greiner


Pastor of Faith West Ministries - Faith Church

Director of Faith West Community Center - Community Ministries West

Vice-Chair of the CDC Board - Northend Ministries

MABC Instructor - Faith Bible Seminary

Director of the Biblical Counseling Training Conference - Faith Biblical Counseling Ministries


BA - Political Science, Purdue University
M.Div. - Faith Bible Seminary
Th.M. - Biblical Counseling, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary
Ph.D. - Biblical Counseling, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary (a.b.d.)

Pastor Josh Greiner joined the staff at Faith Church in 2013 after being a part of the three year internship at FBS and oversees the Faith Church West Campus. He also serves as an ACBC certified counselor, grader, and fellow; he teaches in Faith’s Biblical Counseling Ministries and serves as an adjunct professor for Faith Bible Seminary (M.Div. and MABC); and serves his community on the Board of the Faith Community Development Corporation and as the chaplain of the West Lafayette Fire Department. Josh is married to Shana and has four children: Winston, Cecilia, Lorelai, and Edwin.

Read Josh Greiner's Journey to Faith for the full account of how the Lord led Pastor Greiner to Faith Church.