Part of my assignments for the class I'm taking involve reading consecutive chapters from the Bible and looking for the missio Dei (Mission of God). In other words, instead of looking for what God wants us to do (commands, moral or otherwise), I've read the text looking for what God has committed to do or seek. The Bible is after all an account of God's experience of us.
In reading the New Testament's first letter of Peter it struck me that God's mission all the way through has been to "get a people for himself." God could have been about getting order out of chaos or getting us to obey and straighten up. If so, that job would have been finished a long time ago without as much mess and mishap.
God -- being the relational being that he is (Father, Son, Holy Spirit) -- is on a mission to share that relationalness with us in an eternal way. In every generation he seeks a people for his own. That people is a broad as those who will trust him. In these last days, God has shown himself to us in Jesus and said "Come unto me." Even though our perspective on who's in and who's out gets skewed, God knows those that are his.
If you read the rest of Peter's letter, you'll see that we're not talking about Neverland. There's a lot of suffering in the world and God's people are not exempt. In fact, God's people are known as those that have something strong enough going on between them and God that not even seemingly senseless suffering can break it down. This is because long before we suffered, he did. He wanted a people so badly that he was willing to experience the full helplessness of being human.
The relationship God establishes with us is the kind that can stand up to hardship and death.