“Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you.”
With verse 12, we begin a new section of 1 Peter. Peter anticipates the duress the believers of Asia Minor were about to face. The Roman government will blame Christians for the burning of Rome. Rome will cover some of them with pitch and used them as living torches to light the imperial gardens at night.
Peter now regards suffering as an imminent possibility. He now directs them on how to cope with this suffering.
“Beloved” is a title of endearment for believers. This reminds us of love from Christians and love from God.
1 Co 10:14, “Therefore, my beloved, flee from idolatry.”
1 Co 15:58, “Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.”
Eph 5:1, “Therefore be imitators of God as dear children.”
Php 4:1, “Therefore, my beloved and longed-for brethren, my joy and crown, so stand fast in the Lord, beloved.”
1 Jn 3:2, “Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is.”
True love can empathize with those who suffer. That is why Peter calls these Asia Minor Christians “beloved.” True love finds its most significant expression in times of trial. It is essential to know that we are loved in times of hardship, whether God’s love or the love of fellow Christians.
We ask, “If God loves me, why does he allow this to happen to me?” God’s answer is hammering hardens steel and crumbles putty. God’s purpose in a trial is to build character.
We mean so much to the heart of God that he expresses his love to us in terms of endearment.
God calls his only begotten Son “beloved.” We mean so much to the heart of God that he uses the same term for us as he did for his own Son. Do you think that no one loves you? If you do, you have not read the New Testament very carefully. God loves you unconditionally, eternally.