Psalm 88 shows us that there are times that believers feel far from God, or even abandoned by God. Though it is true that we may face affliction so severe that we may feel abandoned by Him, we never are. He has promised to always be with us. When we feel abandoned it may be because of our sin, because of our turning away from Him. Or it may simply be because of the fickleness and unreliability of our feelings. Feeling something does not make it true. Our hearts are wicked, and even we, believers with redeemed hearts, have to fight against our sinful nature. But this Psalm also directs to pour out our lamentation to God - He is our comfort, He is our peace, He is Truth.
There is, once again, so much going on in our 1 Peter passage. A couple of passages jumped out at me.
v15 but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect,We need to know what we believe (one of the reasons we're doing this blog), and we need to be ready to explain it to those around us, in love. This does not mean we won't offend people, because the truth often offends. But it does mean we need to speak with the right motives and attitude.
The surrounding text makes it clear that we may be persecuted for our faith, but that if we are, we are blessed; that we should not fear because Christ has conquered death; that we should be prepared to defend our belief in Jesus; and that we should live with such integrity that people need to tell lies about us in order to slander us.
V18-22 is a rather confusing passage but I found Ray Pritchard's sermon on it to be very enlightening. As a very brief explanation...
I believe that Jesus, either between his death and resurrection or after his resurrection, proclaimed his victory to those demon spirits that rebelled so greatly against the Lord in Noah’s day.
Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage passage: Psalms 89-90; 1 Peter 4