1 Peter 1-5

The quick read through 1 Peter leaves me with the impression that the people of Turkey were being persecuted, or asked to suffer in some way. Read 1 Peter 1-5
Throughout his letter to the churches in Asia and Macedonia (modern Turkey) Peter is encouraging the believers to endure suffering.   But more than that, he is encouraging them to behave like citizens of heaven.   
I read a book recently that helped me understand this a little more clearly.   In the book the author suggests that our brain has a control center that tells us how to respond before we are consciously aware of it.    For instance, when you hit your thumb with a hammer (don’t laugh, it happens..) something instantly flashes through your mind.  It might be to swear, it might be to yell, or you might wince and keep working.   Either way, the decision is made before you think about it.  How is that possible?    It’s the job of the control center to tell us how to respond.   And the control center makes these decisions based on the identity we input into it.   In other words, if you tell the control center “I am royalty” then it will respond as you believe royalty would in any given situation.
Here’s where that intersects Christianity:  If you read your Bible..study and memorize even, but you tell the control center in your brain “I’m a sinful person, and I will sin somehow”  then your first instinct will not be godly.   You may resist the urge to sin, but you will have to fight your first instinct, and some days that “instinct” will get the best of you.    Isn’t that something?
Paul wrote in Philippians 4 “And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.”
and in Romans 12:2 it says  
Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.”
also, in 1 Corinthians 2:16 it says “Who can know the Lord’s thoughts?     Who knows enough to teach him?”  But we understand these things, for we have the mind of Christ.
The Bible is telling us how to truly live the Christian life.  Of course, none of it is possible without the Holy Spirit, but we need to reorient our mind as well.  The Bible tells us how, and science has confirmed that what the Bible is proposing is legitimate and will work.    This is one rare case where spiritual and physical wisdom are in agreement.
In order to retrain the brain’s control center, we need to give it a new identity.   We need to get rid of the “fallen” identity that we either learned or were born with, and reinstall a new heavenly identity.    That’s why Peter is telling the church that they are “God’s Children” and “temporary residents”, “living stones”, holy and royal priests”, and “chosen people”.    As you read through 1 Peter you will see that the Apostle is trying to help the Church relearn who they are in Christ.     It won’t prevent sin, and it’s not some magical formula or “secret knowledge”…it will simply give the believers a new “edge” in their fight against the devil.
Once our control center is renewed, our first thought isn’t to fight, it’s to make peace.   We respond with love instead of anger, we lean towards forgiveness instead of bitterness….the list goes on.     It won’t replace your free will…you can still be unforgiving, and if you choose that, then you are embracing the old identity…so the new one won’t be around for long.
You and I are citizens of heaven.  This earth is not our home…sure, we were born here, but when we realized our sinful state and asked God to forgive us we “ascended” in our spiritual state.   We transformed from doomed to saved, from failures to children of the Eternal God.  We received and are receiving now the spiritual power and ability to make His kingdom known on the earth.   One day, we will be blessed with new eternal bodies that even now are awaiting us in heaven.
That’s who we are.     Throughout this letter, Peter is encouraging the church to behave like the spiritual royalty they are.
Suffer with satisfaction, knowing that human suffering sharpens our spiritual focus.