“That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:”
1 Peter 1:7
Peter was one of the most well known of Jesus’ twelve disciples. After Jesus’ resurrection, he became one of the great leaders of the church. We can learn much about that ministry in the first twelve chapters of Acts, where thousands of people were saved, and the church was established.
In the book of First Peter, Peter wrote a letter to the Christians who had left their homeland, scattering into the countries around. Remember the persecution that had begun (see Acts 8:1; 11:19). Peter wrote words of encouragement to them along with words teaching them more about the Christian life.
Peter began by reminding them of the hope that is only found in Jesus’ resurrection. “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead” (1 Peter 1:3).
- Lively means “to live, have life; of things living, lively, active, and enduring opposed to what is dead or inactive.”
- Hope means “those who experience the hope of salvation through Christ, eternal life, and blessedness.”
It is only through this “lively hope” of eternal life (by salvation only through Christ) that gives Christians the strength to live a life pleasing to Jesus while here on earth. This “hope” is to give Christians a confidence that people of this world do not have. With that hope, Christians (God’s children) have a promise of inheritance. “To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you” (1 Peter 1:4). Remember the promise that Christians have been given of eternal life in heaven with Jesus. Do you remember that “inheritance incorruptible”? Remember what Romans teaches us. “17. And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together. 18. For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us” (Romans 8:17-18). We should remember the promise of inheritance with Jesus, in Heaven.
In addition, recall the promise that God will be with those who belong to Him, and will take care of them. “Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time” (1 Peter 1:5). Notice that it takes “faith”. One day, Christians (because of their faith unto salvation) will live in Heaven with Jesus, forever. See what Jesus said that is recorded in the book of John. “And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand” (John 10:28). Christians are promised eternal salvation.
With that promise, Christians are to rejoice – no matter what. “Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations” (1 Peter 1:6).
- Manifold means “variegated; many-colored.”
- Temptations means “a trial in which God brings His people through adversity and affliction in order to encourage and prove their faith and confidence in Him.”
Understand that as Christians there will be many trials that will be endured. Remember what Jesus said in the book of Matthew. “11. Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. 12. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you” (Matthew 5:11-12). However, with those trials, the confidence and faith in God will be strengthened.
Why are trials necessary? They prove a Christian’s faith. “7. That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ: 8. Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory: 9. Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls” (1 Peter 1:7-9). Fire purifies gold, just as trials purify a Christian’s faith, preparing them to be presented “unto praise and honour and glory” when Jesus returns for His people. It is then that Christians will receive the promised reward of eternal salvation. Remember something else that Jesus said that is recorded in the book of John. “Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed” (John 20:29). Although no one today has physically seen Jesus, because of the written Word of God (the Bible), we have the ability to hear and believe upon Jesus (see Romans 10:9-10).
Can your faith withstand the trials, making you more Christ like?
Do you need to believe upon the One (Jesus) of which you have not yet seen?