Suffering is inevitable. It’s an inescapable part of human existence. That’s why we spend so much energy resourcing people on how to deal with it well. Peter had the same mindset when leading his church. He knows that suffering is inevitable which means it’s important to discuss. He wanted his friends to know that their hardships were on God’s heart.
Ancient Rome was a chilling place to be a Christian. Signs were plastered all over city streets that said that Christians could be captured or executed for their faith. On what grounds? The crooked empire accused them of crimes ranging from atheism to cannibalism, atheism because they renounced the Roman deities and cannibalism because they took communion saying, “This is the body and blood of Christ.” They were unjustly targeted and unfairly treated.
I am sure you have been there too. Life hasn’t treated you fairly. Someone targeted you unjustly. Now, you are facing paramount pain, and you don’t know what to do. Here is the hope: your pain can become a platform. Peter said, “Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have” (3:15). The way you handle pain can point people to Jesus. Let your light shine in darkness. People will notice.
Struggling is hard, but hope is contagious. When you see someone strongly walking through suffering, you want to know the source of their strength. Use your pain as a platform to show the source of your strength. Choose worship over worry. Chose joy over sorrow. Chose faith over fear. People will notice, and God will be glorified.