Simon Peter was one of Jesus' 12 disciples, and was an uneducated fisherman from Galilee. 'Peter' means 'rock', and was a nickname given to him by Jesus. We read many stories about him in the four Gospels, including his attempt to walk on water and his denial of Jesus. In the end Peter stuck to his beliefs and was killed by the Romans for his faith.
1 Peter gives us encouragement in the times when it feels difficult to be a Christian - when we are made fun of, people treat us badly or we feel scared about how people might react to us as Christian. The letter is filled with the recognition that Jesus suffered and said we would have trouble in our lives too, but that Jesus gives us comfort in our struggles.
This is the second letter said to have been written by Peter. In it he writes to the church about how Jesus transforms lives, and he challenges his readers to be holy. The letter was written in response to some false teachings about the Christian faith. Some people were spreading the belief that salvation was fully experienced in this life, so there would be no eternal life, and there would be no second coming of Jesus. In this letter, the writer voices his concerns about this teaching and speaks against it.
We live in a culture where everything is fast-paced and where we have access to pretty much anything we want, immediately. This letter reminds us that God's timing is different from ours - he is not part of our 'have it now' culture. Peter spurs us on to keep our eyes fixed on Jesus.