If you want to understand the proper way to live out hope in the midst of suffering, says the writer of 1 Peter, the best example is Jesus. Jesus was crucified unjustly, suffering under the worst human violence and insult one could imagine, yet his death and resurrection were the ultimate triumph of hope over injustice, sin and death. It was through that suffering that Christ was able to "bring us to God. " Jesus’ triumph over death enabled Him to proclaim hope to the "spirits in prison" — those who had died in Noah’s flood and those like them who died apart from a saving knowledge of God.
Jesus continues to proclaim that message of grace and liberation to us in the present through baptism, which the writer sees as "an appeal to God for a good conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ." When we’re baptized, we take on the results of Christ’s suffering for us — cleansing from sin and new life in God’s grace, all the things for which we hope. In Christ, God had taken on the worst the world can dish out and came out the other side victorious. As Jesus’ people, we can respond to the lingering evil of the world not by retaliating, complaining or retreating, but by proclaiming the hope, the realized hope, that is within us.
We just need to share the rest of the world with that message!