1 Peter 1:3

I’ve heard that it has been said that pain is the universal human experience.  No matter your age or social status, pain seems to know just where to find you.  Each one of us in this room have had our dance with it, and some of you in our midst know the dance better than others—whether through the pain of a broken heart, or the pain of chronic illness, the pain of loss, or the pain of depression.  Pain comes in all shapes and sizes, each one tailor made for a different season of life.  Each of us knows just what it means to hurt.  Some of you are there now.

Pain is very much a part of life in our broken world, a world that has been severely marred by the fall.  And yet as Christians, one of the ways that we grow beyond a general knowledge of God to more personal and intimate encounter with Him is often through the furnace of affliction.

Peter wrote to believers who were scattered throughout Asia Minor, or modern day Turkey.  They were ‘elect exiles,’ which means that they were special to God, but harassed by the world.  They were uncomfortable in the world because they were strangers and pilgrims. Peter wrote to encourage these hurting Christians in the midst of their pain.  It is important to recognize that they were suffering, not simply from the everyday pressures of life, but because of their faith in Christ.  They needed to be reminded of their hope. The word ‘hope’ here refers to future expectation. It isn’t something uncertain, but is sure and steadfast. When we meet various hurts in life, it is good to know that in Christ we have a sure and living hope!

For more, read 1 Peter 1:1-9