Peter wrote the first of his two epistles to encourage people who were undergoing persecution. The disciple decided that the most natural way to open such a letter was to remind believers of who they are in the Lord.
Believers are chosen in Christ. It’s not that the Lord selects some people to enter heaven and others to go to hell. Rather, the good news of Jesus Christ is offered to everyone (John 3:16; Rom. 1:20). The “elect” are those who receive the Savior through an act of free will. The bottom line is that God wants you. He chose you.
Believers are recipients of mercy. No one can claim that his or her righteous works earned a place in heaven. We are saved through the mercy of Christ (Titus 3:5). God loved us so much that He made a way for us to be in relationship with Him now and forever.
Believers are protected. Psalm 34:7 says, “The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear Him.” We are so well guarded that the only way that our lives can be touched by hardship is if God allows it. That doesn’t mean we won’t experience loss or upheaval. Sometimes God permits His children to walk through dark valleys, but always the protective shepherd, He remains at their side (Ps. 23:4).
The message of Peter’s letter is simple: Do not be afraid when you go through trying times. Focus upon who you are in Jesus Christ. You have reason to be bold, assured, and triumphant, because you are a chosen, beloved, and well-guarded child of God.
Dr. Charles Stanley