Reading 1 Peter as an American

For this is a gracious thing, when, mindful of God, one endures sorrows while suffering unjustly.

1 Peter 2:19

The theme of 1 Peter is encouraging and exhorting believers in the midst of sufferings.

As an American, this is sometimes a forgettable book because I don’t know what it is like to live in a context of suffering and persecution for my faith.

I have a godly imagination of what it would be like to read 1 Peter while running away from the authorities for preaching the gospel.

  • To read how I have an inheritance kept in heaven for me. (1:4)
  • To know that these fiery trials are here to test the genuineness of my faith and how committed I am to following Jesus, even if it means death. (1:7)
  • To really understand when Peter says how we are as a people who are living “in exile”. (1:17)
  • To read how our sufferings are not alone because the one we follow with our entire lives was also “rejected by men”, but “in the sight of God chosen and precious” (2:4)

But poor me. By virtue of who I am, as an American safe from harm, I may read 1 Peter many times, but I may never read 1 Peter as it should be read. It is hard for me to draw from its treasures because my hands are clean, and not marked by the markings of suffering.



Phillip Chan

Phil has been writing for 10 years. His passion is to grow in his love for Jesus to obey his purposes in our generation.

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