In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that your faith — of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire — may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.
1 Peter 1:6-7
This truth is seen all through the Bible. It’s one of those teachings that we don’t want to hear. The fact of the matter is that we will all face trials and challenges.
Yet in spite of all this we can walk in the joy of the Lord. It’s also good to know that in those trials our faith being perfected.
In all of this, Peter understands that there’s a problem we face.
Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls.
1 Peter 1:8-9
The problem is that we don’t see the Lord. Because we can’t see Him we must operate by faith. We have to trust in His Word to us.
Of course faith always has a goal. Our goal is to see God’s life-changing power at work in us. Because we look to this goal by faith, it inspires hope – expectation – in our hearts.
As we continue to walk with Christ, we learn more about His ways. This causes us to love Him more and more.
So actually, the trials of life are foundational to our spiritual growth. They produce faith, hope and love in us as we continue to look to the Lord. These are the three essentials that we can’t live without if we want to live a life pleasing to God.
Of all the apostles, Peter had the best handle on this. When it came to persevering under trials, there was no one else like him. When Paul and Silas were in jail they had to start singing to keep their spirits up. When Peter was in prison, chained between two guards, he actually fell asleep!
The question is; how can I rejoice in trials? The secret is in the verses before these.
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead…
1 Peter 1:3
We’ve been given a Living Hope, an expectation of what God’s going to accomplish in and through us. It’s this living hope that causes rejoicing in the trials. The prophet Jeremiah understood this truth.
O LORD, the hope of Israel, all who forsake you will be put to shame. Those who turn away from you will be written in the dust because they have forsaken the LORD, the spring of living water.
He knew that the hope of Israel was the Lord, as the spring of living water. Israel missed it. I don’t want to miss it.
It’s clear from the above verse that the Lord’s mercy gives birth to a Living Hope. Hope is birthed in His mercy. In my next posts I’m going to expand on this thought.
Question: How has placing your hope in Christ changed your outlook?
© Nick Zaccardi 2016