Many Good Days

March 05, 2023 | Jess Rainer

Passage: 1 Peter 3:8-12

What did Steve Jobs, Ernest Hemingway, and King Solomon all have in common?  I’m asking an actual question. This isn’t some attempt at a dad joke.  If you think of a good dad joke with that opening, feel free to write it on your Connect Card.  Just make sure you think of something better than “they all loved apples.”  Back to the question, what did those three have in common?  There are two things in common:

  1. They all had the world at their fingertips
    • Steve Jobs
      • He had a net worth of over $10B when he died, worth over $40B today
      • One of the most highly influential people in the world
    • Ernest Hemingway
      • That he pursued his good life, the love of life, through drinking, through parties, through fighting in revolutions, through tumbling women all over the world, living exactly the way he wanted to live.  He had power.  He had fame.  He had prestige.  He traveled the globe.  He sold millions of books.  He pursued pleasure incessantly.[1]
    • King Solomon
      • The third king in the Bible. Solomon had incredible wealth.  He had houses.  He had chariots.  He had horses.  He had women.  He had sex.  He had land.  He had power.  He had fame.  He had everything that people today would say the good life must contain.  Even the Queen of Sheba, who was no commoner herself, came to visit him and she was so staggered at his wealth and so staggered at his immense power, so staggered at his person and his possessions that in Scripture it says in 2 Chronicles 9:4 that she was breathless.  It literally took her breath away to see what he had.[2]
  2. They all realized the world at their fingertips wasn’t enough
    • Steve Jobs
      • Steve Jobs, in his last public interview before his death, echoed some of this sentiment. “Ever since I’ve had cancer,” he said, “I find myself believing in God a bit more. I want to believe in an afterlife.”[3]
    • Ernest Hemingway
      • He took his own life
    • King Solomon
      • Ecclesiastes 2:17: “So I came to hate life because everything done here under the sun is so troubling. Everything is meaningless—like chasing the wind.”

What was different about King Solomon than the other two?  He knew what it means to give up everything the world had to offer to take in what truly matters from God.  At the end of Ecclesiastes look at what Solomon said:  13 That’s the whole story. Here now is my final conclusion: Fear God and obey his commands, for this is everyone’s duty.  All three of these men went through life trying to live the good life – trying to have good days.  And left to their own devices, life left them nothing in return.  Today, we learn what it means to have a good day.  Peter gives us the ingredients of what a good can be and should be.  Here’s what we see in our passage today:  You can have peace, enjoy life, and see many good days.

We continue our Sermon Series: Hope Fully.  As you turn to 1 Peter 3:8, let me remind you of our sermon series.  This letter, this series is learning how to live this life with hope, with assurance of what’s to come.  Read 1 Peter 3:8-12.  We’ve spent the past few weeks understanding how we as Christ-followers should live as worldly citizens, live with unjust rulers, and as husbands and wives.  Peter is going to put a bow on this section of his letter in these five verses.  He’s going to address all Christians and what our lives should look like, even during bad seasons.  And he let us know that we can see good days, even in the midst of bad days.  Here’s where we start: Good days come from right emotions.

[1] Taken from

[2] Ibid.

[3] Taken from

1) Good days come from right emotions. (vs. 8)  Let’s look at verse 8.  Peter lets us know he’s wrapping up this section on how we live out our hope by using the word “finally”.  And when he says, “all of you,” he’s writing to all Christians.  Finally, all of you should be of one mind. Sympathize with each other. Love each other as brothers and sisters. Be tenderhearted, and keep a humble attitude.   What are we called to do?  Peter gives us 5 commands. Let’s look at each one briefly:

  1. Be of one mind
    • This does not mean we are to think exactly alike
      • I don’t want everyone to think like me
        • And we all don’t want to think like Robbie!
      • Plus, that’s called a cult
    • What this does mean is that we are to pursue unity
    • We are to have a common attitude around a common purpose
  2. Sympathize with each other
    • We are to feel what our fellow brothers and sisters feel
    • We are to seek understanding why a fellow Christians would feel the way they feel
  3. Love each other
    • Genuinely care for each other
      • I’ve said this many times before: in church life, you won’t be best friends with everyone and that’s okay
      • But you should love and care for everyone in the church because we all love the gospel above everything else
  4. Be tenderhearted
    • I like this one because of the original Greek word
    • The word “tenderhearted” or “compassion” comes from the Greek word, “Splak-nos”
    • It means from the spleen or “from the bowels”
      • The word itself is an onomatopoeia
    • The way we are to feel compassion and tenderheartedness is as if it’s from the gut
      • It should feel real
  5. Keep a humble attitude
    • Just remember you may not always be right
    • Remember the only reason you can live in hope is because of what Jesus did for us

What’s unique about all five of these commands?  They are emotions. They are feelings.  Think about this: we are commanded to feel certain emotions.  Why? Why are we commanded to feel these emotions?  Verse 8 and verse 9 are leading towards a blessing we receive from God.  And that blessing allows us to see many good and happy days.  We’ll talk more about that in a minute.  Now, the logical reaction is “How do I make myself feel that way?”  “I can’t manufacture emotions.”  “This seems like a command that I can’t fulfill.”  Especially for us men, this seems like a big gap to jump across.  Illustration: Being numb in the dentist chair.  “Can you feel that?”  “Yes, more medicine please!”  We’ve done the same with our emotions.  We need to lessen the numbness.  But it’s true. You can’t genuinely manufacture emotions. 

What are we supposed to do?[1] 

  1. Ask God to change you
    • If you know you are commanded to feel these emotions towards, then ask God to remove the numbing medicine from your heart
    • Men, it’s good to feel emotions.
      • Same David that killed Goliath is the same David that poured out his soul through Psalms
    • Ask for change
  2. Feel emotions with God
    • If you struggle to feel love and sympathy for others, start with God
    • What does James 4:8 say?
      • Come close to God, and God will come close to you. 
      • Sit in the presence of God and marvel that you can sit in the presence of God
  3. Resolve to feel emotions with others
    • God creates emotions as you resolve to show emotion
    • Acting leads to feelings
    • Don’t fake it until you make it
    • But enter in a place where you want to be tenderhearted, where you want feel sympathy and just maybe you will feel begin to feel those emotions

Good days come from right emotions.  Peter builds on this command.  Here’s what we see next: Good days come from right responses.

[1] Taken from

2) Good days come from right responses. (vs. 9)  The blessing Peter says God will grant us is that of eternal life.  As a Christians, we have a blessing of that we get to be God forever.  While that blessing is still to come, we receive the blessing of living in that truth every day.  It shapes the way we think, feel, and act.  That blessing is what gives us hope – a hope this world could never give us.  Our future blessing is also a daily blessing of hope.  When we live in that blessing, it changes how we see the world, which changes how we live.  That’s what gives us good days.  Our emotions are shaped by what’s to come.  And what Peter shows us next is that our responses are shaped by what’s to come too.  How we respond matters.  Illustration: Robbie thinks there is a presence in the wall at church (the bird story).  “You know about this?!”  I was tempted to put the bird in office, but I was sermon prepping and I read verse 9.  When we first start reading verse 9, it seems straightforward and logical.  “Don’t retaliate.”  Look at the first part of verse 9:  Don’t repay evil for evil. Don’t retaliate with insults when people insult you. Instead, pay them back with a blessing. That is what God has called you to do, and he will grant you his blessing.  I feel like most of us read the first part of verse 9 and think “that’s easy enough.”  “Don’t retaliate. I can do that.”  But in reality, we will find ways to “retaliate without retaliating.” 

How do we “retaliate without retaliating?”  We hold grudges.  We manipulate what other people think about the person who hurt us.  We unfriend them on social media.  At what point in our culture have we really given social media that much power.  We fake our feelings when around them.  We do all this little things that aren’t direct retaliation, but indirect retaliation.  It’s our way to maintain control and justice.  But if you want to have a good day, what does verse 9 say to do?  “Pay them back with a blessing!”  Let me be clear on something: we aren’t called to knowingly and repeatedly put ourselves in a situation where someone can do harm to us.  It’s okay to establish appropriate boundaries.  But the calling remains clear: bless those who insult you.  Do you want to have a good day? Bless someone that has insulted you.  When someone throws a muddy shoe at you, pick it up, clean it, and give it back them.  Or if someone leaves a bird in the wall, remove it and release it outside.  Verses 8 and 9 are focused on what we do.  Peter shifts to let us know how and why we can live out these callings – and have a good day.  Here’s what we see in verses 10 and 11:  Good days come living under right authority.

3) Good days come living under right authority. (vs. 10-11)  If we were to stop here, you could almost make the case that good morality leads to good days.  You could say that having the right emotions and right responses lead to good things happening.  You could even take it a step further and say, “I can make my own good days.”  Let me ask you a question:  I want you to think of your top five most enjoyable days.  What are your top 5 “good days?”  For me, my wedding day immediately comes to mind.  I think of the birth of my kids.  Being at the beach.  For most people, when you think of some of your top “good days,” there is going to be a common thread that each of those days have God in them.  You are living out your purpose from God, your calling from God, you are seeing God in the beauty of creation.  When you look back you can see that God is the author of those days.  Good days are God days.  Your good days are living underneath God’s authority and design.  Peter knows this and understands this.  What Peter do starting in verse 10 is a quote from Psalm 34:12-16.  He’s letting his readers know that he’s under the authority to Scripture.  As the Holy Spirit is authoring God’s Word through Peter in this letter, the authority always goes back to God.  That’s why Peter starts verse 10 with “For the Scriptures say…” 

So what does verse 10 and 11 say?  10 For the Scriptures say, “If you want to enjoy life and see many happy days, keep your tongue from speaking evil and your lips from telling lies.  11 Turn away from evil and do good. Search for peace, and work to maintain it.  These two verses show us enjoyment, happiness, and peace are only found when we restrain from evil and relish the goodness that comes from God.  Quote: “’Good days’ are those in which the Christian enjoys the fellowship of God, days that are already present in this life because of the eschatological new birth in Christ.” – Karen H. Jobes.  Right emotions and right responses come from living under the right authority.  It comes from fellowship with God.  That’s what good days are made of.  What does fellowship with God look like?  It comes down to your desires.  Good days come from right desires.

4) Good days come from right desires. (vs. 12)  If I could put a bow on what it means to have a good day, it would come down to this: Good days come from being in the presence of God.  When you read verse 12, what do you see about God?  12 The eyes of the Lord watch over those who do right, and his ears are open to their prayers. But the Lord turns his face against those who do evil.”  Peter starts by talking about the eyes of God, but then moves to what?  The face of God.  Throughout the Bible, attributes are given to God to help describe how He relates to us. In verse 12, the eyes of the Lord focuses on His watchfulness over us.  The face of the Lord focuses on His correction and discipline over us.  When we do wrong, the face of the Lord is against us.  But when we are living in the will of God, His eyes are watching over us.  And what happens when the eyes of the Lord are watching over us?  He hears our prayers. This connects back to verse 7 with a husband that is leading his wife and what happens to that husband’s prayers.  Don’t you love that image of God?  He’s looking down on His children and is delighting in His children as they live under His authority.  He’s watching and waiting and listening.  And He wants to answer our prayers. I think a lot of people don’t like the idea of an omniscient God because they fear His face.  But we should love the idea of an omniscient God because of His watchfulness over us.  You need to know what it’s like to have the eyes of God on you so you can know when the face of God is against you.  I want to have the longing and the desire to be in the presence of God.  I want you to desire to have the eyes of God watching over you.  I want you to relish in God so much that you don’t want to ever have the face of God against you.  At the end of the day, I want you to have a good day.

How do we have a good day? A happy day, full of peace?  Seek God.  That doesn’t mean all of your problems and sufferings will go away.  We’ll talk about that next Sunday.  But it does mean in the midst of the chaos of the world, you can have a good day. God wants you to have peace, to enjoy life, to have good days.  God wants to hear your prayers.  God wants His eyes watching over you.  Seek Him.  Live under His authority.  And let the right responses and right emotions overflow.  Go this week, find God, and have a good day.  

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Series Information

This 13-week series focuses on 1 Peter where we will look at what it means to have hope as sojourners.  This chapter points us towards eternal hope.  The Christian hope is more than mere optimism that says things will “hopefully” work out. It is a sure hope, and so we “hope fully” (1 Peter 1:13) through every trial and test of faith.

Other sermons in the series

January 08, 2023

Hold on to Hope

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January 15, 2023

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January 22, 2023

Hope Grows

1 Peter 1:25 [ESV] 25 but the word of the Lord remains forever." And...

January 29, 2023

Life with Jesus

1 Peter 2:9 [ESV] 9 But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a...

February 05, 2023

Keep Your Identity

1Peter 2:11-12 [ESV] 11 Beloved, I urge you as sojourners and exiles to...

February 12, 2023

Keep Going

1 Peter 2:24 [ESV] 24 He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree...

February 26, 2023

Hope-Filled Marriage

1 Peter 3:1, 7 [ESV] 1 Likewise, wives, be subject to your own...

March 19, 2023

Life Choices

1 Peter 4:10-11 [ESV] 10 As each has received a gift, use it to serve...

March 26, 2023

Continue to Rejoice

1 Peter 4:19 [ESV] 19 Therefore let those who suffer according to God's...