1 Peter 5:10–11

How Long Must I Suffer?

Our suffering can be so severe that all we can say is, “How long, oh Lord?” In this lab, Pastor John gives God’s response.

Principle for Bible Reading

Search in Concentric Circles

When seeking for answers concerning how a biblical author uses a word or phrase in a verse, it is often helpful to start by seeking answers in the immediate context and then moving outward. Good Bible reading, like a stone dropped in a pond, starts at the word or phrase in question and ripples out to other places in the Bible to get help for understanding. Starting your search in the immediate verse and moving outward is often called searching in concentric circles.

After searching in the immediate verse, it is key to look for the author’s meaning in:

  • The paragraph which contains the verse
  • Then the chapter
  • Then its book as a whole
  • Then other books written by the same author
  • Then the same Testament (New or Old) as a whole
  • Then the whole Bible

Study Questions

  1. Have you ever suffered for a prolonged period? How did you endure through it?
  2. How long is “a little while” in 1 Peter 5:10 (compare with 1 Peter 1:6–7)?
  3. What does Peter offer us in 1 Peter 5:10–11 that helps us endure suffering?


  • Your Suffering Is Working for You | In this episode of Ask Pastor John, he reminds us that suffering isn’t just something to endure, but something that works for you.

  • The Loneliness of Suffering | In this article, Vaneetha Risner shares where she turns when the suffering seems too deep for others to relate.

  • Suffering and the Sovereignty of God | In this book, a host of contributors urge us to look to Christ during suffering to find confidence, comfort, and sweet fellowship.