Does God Will Sin Done Against Us?

1 Peter 3:17

We all carry wounds inflicted upon us by others. When we think about the father who abandoned us, the friend who betrayed us, or the co-worker who lied about us, what part did God play in our pain? In this lab, John Piper discusses whether God wills our suffering, especially the suffering caused by others’ sin.

Principle for Bible Reading


A “ground” is an argument or reason for another statement. The supporting (or grounding) statement comes after the statement it supports, often introduced by the words “for,” “because,” or “since.” One way to remember this is that the ground is the ground upon which another statement is built. When you come to a grounding statement in the Bible, ask how what comes after the “for” or “because” explains (or grounds) what comes before the “for” or “because.” The key words for grounding statements are “for,” “because,” or since.

For more on a ground.

For Example

Jesus loves me this I know, for the Bible tells me so.” How do we know that Jesus loves us? For (or because) the Bible tells me so.

In This Lab

Pastor John identifies 1 Peter 3:17 as a reason, or “ground,” for what came immediately before it. Verse 17 gives the reason why we should keep on giving our defense gently in the face of slander and reviling, namely, because it is better to suffer for doing good than for doing evil.

Study Questions

  1. Explain the “For” (or “Because”) at the beginning of 1 Peter 3:17. How does what comes after the “For” support or explain what comes before it?
  2. Does 1 Peter 3:17 say that God wills the suffering of his children? If so, how might you explain this to someone struggling to believe that? Think of other verses to support the answer you give.
  3. Read the prayer of the Christian community in Acts 4:27–28. How does this description of the cross help us understand God’s sovereignty in sins done against us?