The Apostle Peter wrote to Christians who were experiencing persecution for their faith. He wrote to comfort them with the hope of eternal life, and to challenge them to continue living holy lives. Those who suffer for being believers in Jesus Christ, also will become partners with Christ in His suffering. As we suffer, we must remember that Jesus Christ is both our hope in the midst of suffering and our example of how to endure suffering and trials faithfully.
In his writing Peter used several symbols and images that were very special to him, because Jesus had used them when he revealed certain truths to Peter. Peter’s name (which means stone) had been given to him by Jesus Christ.
Peter’s conception of the church (a spiritual house composed of living stones built upon Jesus Christ as the foundation) came from Jesus. Jesus encouraged Peter to care for the church as a shepherd tending the flock. Thus it is not surprising to see Peter included words stone, shepherd and sheep in his writing to describe and refer to the church.
Peter explains that trials will come and refine their faith. Believers must hold onto their faith and purpose to live holy lives, reverently fearing and trusting God. Christians should be above reproach, imitating Christ in all their social roles ‘masters and servants, husbands and wives, church members and neighbours.’
Jesus Christ must be our example for obedience to God in the midst of great suffering, presenting the right attitude when persecution and trials come. At all times be thankful for the privilege of suffering for God, whilst trusting him for deliverance.
When you suffer for doing what is right, remember that following Jesus Christ is a commitment. When you are being persecuted for your faith, rejoice that you have been counted worthy to suffer for Jesus Christ.