1 Peter 1:3
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead
In a letter that is all about human suffering, Peter begins with singing a song of blessing about God. How can he be so full of blessed singing when he is going to talk about human suffering? Peter knew God. To keep perspective in the midst of suffering, you must know God as Peter knew God.
First, Peter says, God is a God of mercy.
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again.”
Mercy is a lot more than just kindness. Kindness means you do something good for somebody who is less fortunate. Mercy on the other hand, is doing something good for somebody who deserves the worst there is. God is certainly a God of compassion and kindness, but God is much, much, more; He is also merciful. When we sin and deserve swift and eternal punishment, God shows us merciful forgiveness. That is a truth about God that we can cling to in difficult times. God is a God of mercy.
But in difficult times, Peter sees something else about God too. The verse says
“According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again”
This talks about spiritual salvation! In times of earthly sorrow and suffering, Peter reminds his friends that God not only cares for physical things, but also solves our greatest spiritual problems. Just like you had nothing to do with your earthly birth, so Peter says, you have nothing to do with the new birth, for God has caused you to be born again. Earthly heartache is meant to turn our eyes to the mercy of God who solves our eternal heartache. God is merciful, and God saves.
But, Peter is quick to add, God does not only save and then leave us to struggle further on our own, God saves to give us hope.
“he has caused us to be born again to a living hope, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead”
Dear suffering Christian, you have the hope of resurrection from the dead just like Jesus Christ was raised from the dead.
In one profound sentence, Peter has taken all his suffering friends, and told them that God will not only show them mercy in their current trials, but at the end God will fix all our trials when we die and are raised up again in the next life.
God shows mercy when we deserve punishment.
God causes us to be born again spiritually.
And God gives us the hope that one day death will be defeated forever, and we will have eternal life.