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REFLECT

How do we really experience peace when so often it seems like the whole world is falling apart? When we’re filled with longing for things to change in our circumstances or relationships, how do we find contentment? If you’ve looked everywhere for peace and security and it still seems out of reach, don’t miss this week’s message! Join us as we learn from the Apostle Peter how to unlock the peace we’ve all been waiting for.

REALIZE

1. Love the family.

1 Peter 4:7-8
Leader Notes

  • As believers, one of our greatest responsibilities is to “love the family,” to love our brothers and sisters in Christ. Every person who has put their faith and trust in Jesus is a member of our family, a brother or a sister to us. Those are the only eternal relationships. We won’t be married in heaven, but we will all be family still.
  • Jesus taught that one of the ways the world would know we are believers is by our love for one another…yet that’s not what the western church is really known for in contemporary society. Each of us can be a part of changing that impression for the world around us. And as we love one another, we open ourselves up to experience God’s peace too.

How can you live out that love of the family in your day-to-day life?

2. Let your life in the Lord color everything.

1 Peter 4:9-11
Leader Notes

  • As we walk with Jesus, our faith should color everything. It’s almost like when you put a “filter” on a photo you’re sharing on social media so that everything in your photo has the same hue. Our faith in Jesus should give all our words and actions a distinct hue.
  • Demonstrating hospitality with other people is sort of a lost art in our culture, but it’s a key way our faith should dictate the way we live. Other examples of how our faith should color our lives include giving to one another and walking in our spiritual gifts. The Lord has gifted every member of his body uniquely, so when we allow the Spirit to bear fruit in our lives we have a unique role to contribute to the body of Christ. We need each other, and we need all of the different giftings God has given each of us.

What are the areas of your life your faith still needs to dictate?

3. Be prepared for difficulties.

1 Peter 4:12-16
Leader Notes

  • When we walk with Jesus, it doesn’t mean our lives go happily ever after…but it does mean we can experience God’s peace no matter what happens.
    Difficulties are guaranteed to occur in life, and the pressure of life reveals what is in our character. At any point, we’re all experiencing some sort of difficulty…what are your current circumstances revealing about your character?
  • If we know difficulties are going to come (and they are), we can determine ahead of time how we will respond in the midst of trials and suffering.

How can you prepare for the difficulties of life instead of being caught off guard by them?

4. Trust the Lord totally.

1 Peter 4:17-19
Leader Notes

  • When we allow the Lord to work in and through the trials of life, he uses them to purify us and “burn off the bad stuff,” to make us more like Jesus.
  • Whatever is going on in our lives, we invite God’s peace when we trust the Lord in our current circumstances. We can trust who God is, even when we don’t see what we want to see in our circumstances. His peace is who he is, it’s not a feeling, and it’s available to us all the time.

What would it look like for you to trust the Lord in your current circumstances and experience his peace?