1 Peter 1:6-12
6 So be truly glad. There is wonderful joy ahead, even though you must endure many trials for a little while. 7 These trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold—though your faith is far more precious than mere gold. So when your faith remains strong through many trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world. 8 You love him even though you have never seen him. Though you do not see him now, you trust him; and you rejoice with a glorious, inexpressible joy. 9 The reward for trusting him will be the salvation of your souls. 10 This salvation was something even the prophets wanted to know more about when they prophesied about this gracious salvation prepared for you. 11 They wondered what time or situation the Spirit of Christ within them was talking about when he told them in advance about Christ’s suffering and his great glory afterward. 12 They were told that their messages were not for themselves, but for you. And now this Good News has been announced to you by those who preached in the power of the Holy Spirit sent from heaven. It is all so wonderful that even the angels are eagerly watching these things happen.
Peter begins this section with these words: “So be truly glad” “So” here refers to what Peter has already communicated in the first five verses, where he reminds us that as believers we are scattered strangers strategically positioned in a strange land to sow the seed of the gospel. Second, he tells us that we have a God who guards what He gives, which means we can praise Him for His provision, His promise, and His protection. Now the word glad here means to rejoice, and we can rejoice even in the midst of persecution because we are a people with purpose, we get to sow the seed of the gospel. We don’t just have a message we have a mission, we are not just milling around wasting our lives, we have the joy of sharing Jesus. You are not a waste of skin, you are significant because you are a servant of the Savior. Why do we rejoice because we have been called and commissioned by Christ the King. Now as we are growing up and as we go thru school people repeatedly ask us: “what are you going to do when you grow up?” “What are your plans for the future?” and we intuitively know that they are talking about jobs, work, and careers. Our world points and positions us to find our purpose in our jobs. Is it any wonder that many of us make the focus of our lives our jobs instead of Jesus, that we make it more about our career than we do Christ. Is it any wonder that while we become proficient at work we are pathetic in our witness? Yes, we have jobs to do but the goal is not our work it is our witness. Are you making the purpose of your life a paycheck or proclaiming Jesus, because there is more to life than money. Real meaning is found in magnifying the Messiah not in making money, it’s not about what you have but who we have. When we make it solely about the money we lose focus on the mission. Is it any wonder that many of us are miserable because we have missed the mission. Peter reminds us that our joy is found in Jesus, not in our jobs, yet many sons and daughters of the King are trying to find their worth in their work instead of in the One they are called to worship. Now Peter reminds us that not only can we rejoice in the rubbish of life but we can “greatly rejoice.” This is what I call jumping joy, ecstatic joy. Joy is different than happiness; happiness is related to what’s happening while joy is rooted in Jesus and what He has done for us. That’s why Jesus could say in Matthew 5:12 that even when we’re persecuted, reviled and hated we can: “Rejoice and be exceedingly glad.” Our joy is tied to our trust in Jesus, not our trials. Unfortunately, many believers are trying to tie their joy to their journey instead of to Jesus, they are making it about their circumstances instead of making it about Christ. It’s here that as Peter teaches us about trials he reminds us of several truths, first:
- Trials are temporary.
Verse 6 says: “There is wonderful joy ahead, even though you must endure many trials for a little while” While we rejoice about what is ahead, our hope in heaven we come to the words, “even though.” It’s in the midst of the glory that we face the groaning. Right now things may not be going so well for you, and you may feel mired down in the mud and the misery of your trials. You may feel like they will never end but Peter wants to bring us back to the truth that while we may be trudging through the trial it is temporary. One of the pitfalls of pain is that we can turn our focus from the truth to our feelings. As I have said many times before problems have a way of poisoning our perspective. And when we turn from the truth we start to build and base our foundation more on our feelings than our Father. Having a proper perspective on our problems means letting truth trump your trial. The words “little while” mean “for a season” right now you may be in a season of suffering and if you are going through a trial right now I want you to turn and tell your trial, the trial you are temporary. The reason Peter called our trials temporary is because in light of eternity our suffering is short. Our problem is that we tend to view our trials from an earthly perspective instead of an eternal perspective. Thomas Watson said, “Afflictions may be lasting but they are not everlasting.” Paul, who was persecuted greatly and went through all sorts of suffering, wrote this in 2 Corinthians 4:17: “For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory.” Peter hits this again in the last chapter of his letter: “But may the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you” 1 Peter 5:10. So let me ask you are you standing on the truth that your trials are temporary or believing the lie that they will last forever?