The recipients of this letter, like us, were living in difficult times-being Christian in an anti-Christian world filled with violence. They suffered, likely much more than we do. Even so, Peter reminds us that we are never alone in our suffering. Jesus, the Christ, and God, the Father, have both suffered and share in our suffering.
Although there are times when we may deserve to suffer because of our own poor behaviour, I think that most often suffering just happens, whether because of circumstance or the result of other people’s behaviour-part of the logical and natural consequences of life.
It is an ongoing blessing to us to be able to rest in God’s arms as we endure whatever suffering comes to us, learn as much as we can from it, and move through it into the next phase of our life, enriched with compassion and wisdom. We are indeed made alive in the spirit.
God of all comfort, you bless us with your presence in all things. Teach us to endure whatever suffering comes our way and allow you to turn it into compassion for others. Amen. — SB