1 Peter: An Apologetic For Resident Aliens 1:6-9
1 Peter 1:6-9: Joyful Suffering
“6In 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.8 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,9 obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls.”
Suffering is a reality in the life of believers (John 16:33; 2 Timothy 3:12). Actually it is a reality in a fallen world. Our lives are guarded by controls that we have put in place, but much of the world lives in misery. While I believe we should work toward the relief of oppression, misery and inequity in the lives of the world’s poor (about 70% of the world’s population lives in poverty), the reality of evil and sin in the hearts of men (all of us), as a result of our rebellion against God, make poverty and misery a reality. As a believer, we could possibly face another type of suffering due to our faith in Christ. Many men and women have suffered greatly for their faith. Their suffering could have been avoided by denying Jesus but they would not; knowing that their momentary affliction was nothing compared to the glory and hope that they have in Jesus. In this passage, we see that God uses our pain and suffering in this life for a positive result. It is in this passage that an incredible word picture is used to show how God takes our pain and turns it into His glory. Peter uses the imagery of a goldsmith, who heats the gold (which begins as an ugly rock) in order to allow imperfections to rise to the surface so he can polish the dross off; repeating that process until he can see his own face in the piece of gold. This is what Peter means when he says, “it may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.” Our lives become changed to reflect God’s glory and His holiness, whereas otherwise it reflects a desire to present our own glory. What a picture of how God works through the events and calamities in our lives!
- Why does God allow suffering in our lives?
- How does knowing that God is working through our sufferings help you? Or hurt you?
- How does suffering usually affect your walk in Christ?
- Are you willing to suffer for the sake of the gospel?
- What do you think about when you are called to suffer in the scripture?