Hope can be a very dangerous thing. Your greatest wounds may be tied to unrealized dreams or unexpected disappointments. Unfortunately, the daily and worldly hopes we know in this life create some category confusion when it comes to our hope in Christ.
Peter's first letter is written to Christians in conflict. Since following Jesus, they have not found the peace or safety or prosperity or relief that they might have expected. This world and their lives continue to be marred by inconvenience, disease, disappointment, persecution and even death.
They're experiencing trials of every kind (1 Peter 1:6). Some are enduring sorrow, while suffering unjustly (2:19). They are receiving evil, being reviled (3:9) and slandered (3:16). They were maligned (4:4) and insulted (4:14). And these sufferings were common "throughout the world" (5:9). There's suffering on every page of the book, and that is the scary, uncertain, painful context into which Peter speaks hope.
[Read the rest of the article at Desiring God.]