Few concepts strike fear and dread in our mind as much as that of suffering. Much time, effort and planning is spent on the avoidance of discomfort or suffering on any level. A life spent free from trouble and challenges of persecution, cruelty, seeming misfortune and overall meanness from others is often viewed as idealistic and successful. The insights throughout this letter indicate otherwise. Our lives are not to be characterized by the avoidance of trouble and troubling circumstances but by the pursuit of the peace of God that comes in harmony with obedience to God and faith in His controlling plan and will. Once we gain a life perspective of God’s controlling hand overall, and a better acquaintance with who He is, we welcome His plan and our fortunate participation in it in any way!
Peter wrote this to churches/believers in the midst of persecutions and those soon to face it on a wide and terrifying scale. They were about to face widespread killing, torture and griefs. But there is more than persecution that a person in Christ is apt to face. As citizens of Heaven we soon come to realize how very little we fit in this world and society. This letter was written to prepare the churches for living as strangers and pilgrims while we walk this short journey in this world.