The opening stanza of the popular Serenity Prayer is as wise as it is hope-filled: “God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference.”
The circumstances of life are as varied as the people who experience them. Some we can change and control, asking God for the courage necessary. Other times, however, we face circumstances we simply cannot change—experiences beyond the scope of our control—and we’re forced to ask God for the strength to accept the limits of our personal power and, instead, endure with trust. Peter reminds Christians that suffering can often be of the latter variety—uncontrollable, inevitable, and unavoidable. And, while we can’t always control the suffering itself, what we can control is how we endure that suffering.