Precious Perils

“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.” 1 Peter 1: 6-9

A recurring biblical theme, it seems, is the promotion of the trials of life, and the believer’s response to them. James spent much time encouraging his readers regarding this topic, as did Paul, and now Peter will chime in as well. We should not read anything into these texts that the authors did not intend. For example, when James said, “count it all joy when you meet trials of various kinds (1:2),” he wasn’t encouraging his readers to adopt some ridiculous attitude towards pain and suffering. Allow me to illustrate this by considering a woman in labor. If, during the pains of childbirth, the doctor comes in and instructs the woman to cheer up and get really excited because this is a good pain, she will probably try to get her hands around his neck and choke his eyeballs out.

James, nor Peter here, is instructing the reader to succumb to an unrealistic approach to suffering. It’s called pain because it’s painful.

The biblical approach to the suffering of believers is a joyful attitude in the midst of the trials. It’s not joyful because of the pain, but because the believer can trust that God is in full control of the trial and is accomplishing a great and needful work through the trial.

One example of this is of course the life of Joseph. He was sold into slavery by his own brothers, thrown into prison because of the lies of a wicked woman, and yet, when all was said and done, God saved the nation of Israel through his suffering. Joseph wisely stated, “What you meant for evil, God meant for good.”

But Peter carries the purpose of these unwanted events in our lives a step further. He states, “though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ.” And this, “receiving the end of your faith — the salvation of your souls.”

There is no promise in Scripture of a blissful life, without trials, suffering, and persecution, this side of our eternal home.

But there is a promise. And this is what Peter comforts his readers with. Even though we have not seen Jesus, we love Him and believe Him. Being the simple-minded person that I am, I can’t help but picture a scene for all believers one day in the presence of our Lord. I see our chins hitting the ground in awe. When we finally see through the glass clearly, and fully comprehend what happened on that cross a couple thousand years ago, I see me and you falling to our knees in adoring worship and praise to the Lamb (and Lion) who is worthy.

If we are blessed with enough grace in this lifetime to catch just a glimmer of His Glory, we will understand why Peter could encourage his readers to be joyful in their trials.

“Thanks be to God for His inexpressible gift.” Jesus — 2 Corinthians 9:15

About mtsweat

Seeking the rest that is only promised and found in Christ Jesus, along with my treasured wife of more than twenty-five years, we seek to grow in our relationship with our Heavenly Father, walk with the Holy Spirit as He moves our hearts, loving others always as Jesus loves us, and carry the news of His glory, the wonderful gospel, that gives light and life where there once was only darkness.
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4 Responses to Precious Perils

  1. Pingback: When Things Don’t Seem So Well | Resting in His Grace

  2. Facing trials seems to be a recurring thing in blogs I’ve read recently.

    I believe that one of the many “blessings” of undergoing trials is meeting the reaction of unsaved friends. We have such an open opportunity when they say “But how can you be so calm through all this? Why aren’t you worried sick?” etc. They SEE the difference and they can’t deny it. Our God is real and they have no answer.

    >> “catch just a glimmer of His Glory”
    Our trials are but a tiny speck in eternity – and what an eternity! It defies our feeble minds, but we know it is ours and we are one day closer.

    What an amazing God!

  3. Wonderfully written post! God has taught me personally a lot of His Truth regarding suffering and it’s role in a Christian’s walk this year. It has been a hard year for me and my husband, but God shows Himself so real in the midst of our trials. It is such a great time to learn to trust our Savior and to deepen our faith. Though we can’t always see the answers, we can rest assured God has laid a path for our feet. Our trials help us to focus our gaze on Him and to renew our dependence upon Him. Everything we experience in this life is by no accident. God uses our trials to perfect us into His image. May we thank Jesus for our trials and suffering.

  4. ptl2010 says:

    Let me share this in relation to what has been written above and let us cheer up no matter how difficult!

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