1 PETER 1:6-9 – In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls.
THEME OF THE DAY. WHEN TRIALS COME. Fellow Christian, if you are in a season of sorrow, a situation or circumstance that seems to have no end and is draining you emotionally and you are feeling discouraged in the spiritual battles we daily encounter, let “Pastor Peter” minister to you from today’s scripture. What we are reading is the Apostle Peter’s opening words of encouragement to a segment of God’s people that are experiencing what some of us might be feeling right now – spiritual heaviness and weariness over the reality of difficult trials in our lives. And Peter’s counsel of encouragement is just what we need to lift us out of the spiritual darkness where we may find ourselves. Here are three things he writes to do this “heavy lifting” of our heavy hearts.
First, Peter reminds these believers there are seasons of necessary trials – “Though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials.” Friends, if we think the Christian life is to be pain-free, easy, and demanding very little of us, then we are not getting our Christianity from the Bible and probably more from our own understanding and the contemporary Christian culture all around us. Jesus made it clear “For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few” (Matthew 7:14). Perhaps we need to stop complaining when difficulties in living the Christian life come upon us. It is supposed to be that way. If it was easy, there wouldn’t be so few real Christians. Jesus never said following Him would be easy. Simple, yes – obey Him, but not easy. Always been that way. Always will be.
Next, there is the encouragement that comes from knowing trials serve two purposes – validate faith and bring glory to the Lord – “So that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.” We are not to be a surprised people that the Lord tests us to not only grow us in the faith, but assure us we are in the faith. If we are finding the Christian life fairly easy, routine, and not placing demands upon us to daily empty ourselves of ourselves, we should be concerned. A trial-free life is not the Christian life, but let the trials not discourage us. Let them encourage us. They are signs of our adoption into God’s family.
A third encouragement from Peter is that all the tears shed, all the trials endured, and all the burdens of sorrow we carry are of short duration – “In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials.” Learn to think this way, not only in trials, but all the time. Learn to live like we are – pilgrims in a foreign land heading to be with Him – the Lord Jesus – in our home with Him; heaven. It is amazing how thinking of seeing Jesus at His Second Coming or our going to be with Him any day has the power to lift up downcast hearts and put a song in our hearts even in the midst of tough trials.
The Christian life is a constantly tried life. Don’t expect anything else and spend time with “Pastor Peter” in his letters. He will be used by the Lord through His Word to not only enable us to endure trials, but to grow in and through them to be more like Him who sent them!
PRAYER: “Father, thank You that the certainty of heaven being my home is that Your Son is my Savior.”
QUOTE: “Long for the Person of heaven more than the place for where Christ is, there is home for the believer.”