Think Hard for the Sake of Your Heart

1 Peter 1:13–16, Part 1

Principle for Bible Reading

Hope is a human emotion, and the Bible commands us to have it. So how do we pursue it if we do not feel it? In this lab, John Piper explains how God has wired the relationship between the mind and the heart. Scripture tells us that biblical thinking serves passionate hoping.

View the outline.


Introduction/Prayer (00:00–01:47)

Set your Hope on Grace (01:47–05:23)

  1. The main command in 1 Peter 1:13 is to “set your hope fully . . . ”
  2. 1 Peter 1:13 begins with “Therefore . . . ” So what is grounding these believers’ hope?
  3. Their hope rests on their new birth in the past, their glorious inheritance in the future, and the tested genuineness of their faith. (1 Peter 1:3–7)

Be Ready to Give a Reason (05:23–06:55)

  1. Our hope in Jesus has reasons. (1 Peter 3:15)
  2. That doesn’t mean that the reasons have to be complicated or intellectually impressive. Peter gives us plenty of reasons for our hope in 1 Peter.
  3. The call in 1 Peter 3:15 is to be ready to give an answer, not necessarily the best or most compelling answer. Just know some reasons for your hope in Jesus.

Prepare Your Minds for Action (06:55–11:26)

  1. Peter adds two participles to the command to hope: “ . . . preparing your minds for action, and being sober-minded.” (1 Peter 1:13)
  2. As we hope in Jesus, we are called to think actively or energetically (“prepare your minds for action”). (1 Peter 1:13)
  3. And as we hope in Jesus, we are called to think clearly (“being sober-minded”), and not like someone who is drunk. (1 Peter 1:13)
  4. With a clear and active mind, set your hope fully on grace.
  5. God has wired our minds to serve our emotions, our convictions to serve our hope. Therefore, think hard for the sake of your heart.

Study Questions

  1. Name the different commands in 1 Peter 1:13. Which command is the primary one?
  2. Explain the “Therefore” at the beginning of 1 Peter 1:13. How does what comes before serve what comes after?
  3. Define what it means to “prepare our minds for action” or to “be sober-minded.” How do those activities relate to hope in Peter’s mind, and what does that mean for the Christian life?
Piper: “Put your mind into the service of your hope. Put your thinking into the service of your feeling.”