Peter has written to encourage his readers who were living as aliens in foreign lands where their faith in Christ put them at odds with the sinful culture. He has reminded them of the privilege of being born into the family of God with its eternal inheritance that is now their guaranteed possession.
Yet, the questions persist: What good is a future inheritance when the present trials of this world are so daunting? If God loves us, why doesn’t He make our lives pain free? How are we supposed to deal with the pain and tragedy of this world?
Peter’s readers needed both insight and encouragement. So do we. Too often the Gospel has been advertised as the cure for all of life’s ills. But such was never God’s intention. There is no question that pain and sorrow and disappointment and frustration will surround us in this life. But what is up for consideration is just how we will respond to it. Knowing that we are being “guarded by God’s power” (vs. 5) will help us to see God’s face in the midst of trial, and recognize His hand through it all, strengthening our faith.