1 Peter 1:6-9

1 Peter 1:6

“In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials.” 

In this you greatly rejoice

“In this” — the living hope (vv. 1 Peter 3-5) produces present joy. The joy of the believer rests in God’s grace. Joy is independent of circumstances because the Christian life transcends circumstances. The Christian has an eternal future. He will never lose this joy no matter what comes his way. True joy comes from eternal possessions. Peter rejoices in his possession in Christ Jesus.

“Rejoice” means to experience a state of great joy and gladness. The term often expresses exceeding verbal joy, to exult, rejoice greatly. It conveys the idea of jubilant exultation, spiritual gladness.

This is joy, often carrying the idea of being overjoyed.. In Mary’s song she says, “My soul rejoices greatly because of God my Savior” (Lk 1:47). The Lord Jesus commanded His disciples to

be exceeding glad.” The Philippian jailer “rejoiced greatly” (Acts 16:34) after he came to Christ.

“Rejoice is mainly used to mean exulting in God’s acts (Rev. 19:7). We can anticipate exalting joy here and now by faith (Mt. 5:12). We will exalt with joy at the return of Christ (I Pet. 4:13; Jude 24).  Christ’s shares this joy (Heb. 1:9; Lk 10:21).

Most people experience grief and joy consecutively. It is one or the other, not both. If they experience joy they cannot endure trial. If they endure trial they cannot experience joy. A godly Christian can have both trials and joy simultaneously:

“…I am exceedingly joyful in all my tribulation” (II Cor. 7:4) “…in a great trial of affliction the abundance of their joy” (II Cor. 8:1-2). “…longsuffering with joyfulness” (Col. 1:11). “…in much affliction, with joy of the Holy Spirit” (I Thess. 1:6)

Principle

The Christian can rejoice in the midst of suffering.

Application

We all feel our problems are unique. Many people experience the very same problem but they face it with a different attitude. It is possible to have joy and grief at the same time. What a blessed attitude to have toward pain!

It is possible to stand at the freshly grave of a Christian with a sense of joy.

When we lose the joy of our salvation, we also lose the thrill of the Christian life. Without the thrill, the enjoyment of our salvation grows dimmer as the years go by. That is what makes a nominal Christian.

Nothing stirs a nominal Christian. They have heard it all. They know it all. Their favorite hymn is “I shall not be moved!” They deem themselves spiritually sophisticated yet they are not burdened for anyone. Compassion rolls off them like water off a duck’s back.

We forget what the Lord did for us at salvation. Do you remember your life before Christ? Have you lost the luster you first had when you received Christ?

Are you out of harmony with heaven? Have you stepped out of fellowship with the Lord? Did you used to lead the pack? Stage a spiritual come-back.

God’s design is not that suffering hurt us but that it bless us with joy. God can take any trial and turn it into blessing. There is no catastrophe too great for God. We will never face any suffering that is too great for us to bear or is too great for the plan of God.

though now for a little while

Sorrows last only for a season. Peter presents a perspective on suffering. It is an eternal perspective. Even if we suffered for our entire life, in the light of eternity it would be but a little while.

Suffering lasts for a short season. It is only for a “little while”

Romans 8:18 “For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.” 

II 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.” Some of us have more trouble than others. The more we suffer here, the greater the reward hereafter. 

I Peter 5:10 “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.” Seasons of suffering will pass. Winter is here; spring will come; we will enjoy summer. 

If we suffer from loneliness, we are in our late 40s and it does not appear that we will marry, it still is only for a little while. If our bodies are racked with disease and pain, it is for a little while. Time is little in comparison to eternity.

Principle

God designs suffering with time parameters.

Application

Winter is here but spring is coming. God knows how much we are able to suffer. Although, we may face deep waters now, they will eventually recede.

God knows when suffering is necessary. He knows when we need encouragement. He knows when we need pressure. He knows exactly what we need and when we need it.

Some people say, “Why does this have to happen to me?” We think that we get more than our fair share of pain. Yet it could be worse. Look at the pain of some others. They face far greater difficulty than we do. Evidently God knows they have the character to take it. On the other hand, they may be too rebellious for him to take off the pressure.

Trouble will not continue without end. The difficulty we presently face will look different a year from now. You may face slander or gossip. This will pass. You may be in deep financial waters. It will eventually pass. You may fear the future. We fear what we cannot see. God’s sustaining grace can meet any situation.

God measures out a certain amount of trial to each of us (I Thessalonians 3:3; I Peter 2:21). We each will get our share. Trial will do us good. Medicine does not usually taste good. Bitter experiences taste bad. We cannot always have things our own way. God has a purpose for everything.

Most of us react to trouble as if trouble was not in God’s design for us. We sing the blues. We get out the crying towel. We push the panic button. From our reaction you’d think God was dead. Our spiritual reflexes are not very good.

Our children watch us and wonder. They can detect inconsistency in us. In the process we mark them indelibly when they are young and impressionable. They cannot see what our faith does for us. When they grow up, they drop out of church. We gave the impression that God is dead. You did not mean to do it but you did it anyway.

God is training us for eternity. This is boot training down here. Some of the lessons are hard to learn. Some lessons are bitter. At times we flunk the course and God makes us take it again.

God wants us to view trial from his vantage point.

When we look at our problems from his

viewpoint, they look insignificant. If we stand at the mouth of the Grand Canyon from the south rim it looks immense. We cannot see it all. However, if we fly over the canyon, from 30,000 feet it looks like a hole in the ground. The difference is the perspective from which we view it. Like viewing the Grand Canyon from the south rim, our problems look vast. When we look at those problems from God’s viewpoint, we put them in perspective.

if need be

Sorrow is necessary for the Christian’s development. It is a must for spiritual growth.

God appoints us to sorrow (1 Thessalonians 3:3).

These sorrows never stay longer than they must.

The word “need” signifies that which is needful, due, proper. It is what must take place, and it often implies inevitability (Mark 13:7). The events of our lives are part of God’s plan and purpose for us.

“Need” connotes the element of necessity in an event. Under God’s economy it is logically necessary that we face suffering. Suffering is God’s personal will for us, not neutral fate.

Jesus uses “need” for the imperative to do God’s will. It is the “need” of God’s sovereignty that governs his work and leads him to suffering and glory. Luke 4:43 But He said to them, “I must preach the kingdom of God to the other cities also, because for this purpose I have been sent.” Luke 9:22 Saying, “The Son of Man must suffer many things, and be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised the third day.” Luke 17:25 “But first He must suffer many things and be rejected by this generation.” This is God’s will as laid down in Scripture.

The followers of Christ stand under the same necessity Acts 9:6 “So he, trembling and astonished, said, ‘Lord, what do You want me to do?’ Then the Lord said to him, “Arise and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.” Acts 9:16 “For I will show him how many things he must suffer for My name’s sake.” Acts 14:22 “Strengthening the souls of the disciples, exhorting them to continue in the faith, and saying, ‘We must through many tribulations enter the kingdom of God.’” It is a demand for obedient faith in every situation of life.

The New Testament uses “must” when referring to the coming of Christ. It is impossible to evade the reality of it happening. The necessity of it happening comes from the very nature of the God who has committed himself to this plan. Jesus in Matthew 24: 6 “And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.” Mark 13: 10 “And the gospel must first be preached to all the nations.” Revelation 1:1 “The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave Him to show His servants—things which must shortly take place.”

Luke uses this term for the necessity of prayer in the Christian life. Luke 18: 1 “Then He spoke a parable to them, that men always ought to pray and not lose heart.” Romans 8: 26 “Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.”

Principle

Suffering is necessary.

Application

Suffering should never surprise us. The Christian should expect suffering. Everything that God sends our way is necessary. Every sickness is necessary. Every trial is necessary. Our trouble is part of the plan of God.

Some people say, “I never have trouble.” Just wait, it will come. If you do have trouble, join the club, we all face it.

God never sends one unnecessary tear drop. Suffering is a must. God does all things for a purpose.

This same word “must” appears when Jesus introduced the term “born again.” John 3: 7 “Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’

Acts uses “must” for salvation as well. Acts 4: 12 “Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”

Acts uses “must” of the necessity of faith in Christ for salvation. Acts 16: 30-31 “And he brought them out and said, ‘Sirs, what must I do to be saved?’ So they said, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household.’

Will you respond to the imperative to receive Christ?

you have been grieved by various trials

The word “various” means variegated or multicolored. The trials we face have many hews and colors. Some are small but others are king-size.

In the New Testament, the word “various” in “various trials” is used only one other time and that is in reference to trials as well – “My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials,” (James 1:2).

The Christian will face many kinds of trials. Peter again indicates that God’s grace manifests itself in various ways. “Various” is translated “manifold.” “As each one has received a gift, minister it to one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God,” (1 Peter 4:10).

God mixes the bitter and sweet. He is training us for glory. This is boot camp down here. We all face personal and family sorrow. We see sorrow in our community and nation and world. Paul carried sorrow for the lost (Romans 9:2, 4).

Principle

God mixes the bitter and the sweet to train us for glory.

Application

Every Christian will face all sorts of trials– of faith, persistence, patience, loyalty. These trials will not necessarily come separately or successively. They can come all at once. They come from all angles. The piling up of these trials results in grief – personal heaviness.  This is the plan of God for our personal maturity.

grieved by various trials

“Grieved” means to cause pain, or grief, to distress. It is a state of sadness. Mentally, grief is the anguish of misfortune, death, annoyance, insult, or outrage. The main idea of “grief” is sorrow (John 16:6; Romans 9:2; Philippians 2:27).

Grief leads to empathy. Jesus entered into grief in Gethsemane. We identify with the sufferings of Christ better when we suffer.

Grief is an integral part of the Christian life. It affords an opportunity to grow in the power of Christ’s death and resurrection. Acceptance of grief is acceptance of the cross (Galatians 6:14; Philippians 3:10-11; 2 Corinthians 4:8-9).

Christ’s death on the cross plunged the disciples into grief. The very isolation from Jesus brought out the significance of fellowship with him (John 16:33). The pain of unjust suffering carries a rich reward when accepted in commitment to God (I Peter 4:12).

Trial means to try, to learn the nature or character of someone or something by submitting them to thorough and extensive testing — “to test, to examine, to put to the test, examination, testing.”

God permits or sends trials for character development: I Peter 4:12-14 “Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you; 13 but rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ’s sufferings, that when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy. 14 If you are reproached for the name of Christ, blessed are you, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you. On their part He is blasphemed, but on your part He is glorified.” Suffering always causes grief to our souls.

Principle

God does not test our faith as much in prosperity as in adversity.

Application

Though we live in hope we still grieve. Hope rises above grief but it does not eradicate it. Christians need the process of sorrow. We need to deal with it, not deny it. We need occasion to hurt and weep.

We sorrow, but not as others who have no hope.

Glib answers do not help the sorrowing process. We need to learn the value of grief. It will lead us to a fuller fellowship with God.

No one is free from trouble. These are the many colored trials of those who are in the family of God. Trouble comes in all forms: financial, marital, family. A great variety of trouble will come our way over a lifetime. Christians are not immune from trouble. God weaves a certain amount of hurt into our lives to develop our value of eternal things.

God does not enjoy putting us through pain. He does not glee in watching us flinch. Everything that comes into our life, including pain, comes by divine design. God has a reason for everything he does. We may understand it by and by.

Jesus faced trouble – “For if they do these things in the green wood (Jesus), what will be done in the dry? (Christians)” (Luke 23:31). Jesus was the green tree and the fire consumed him. What will happen to us who are dry twigs?

What kind of trouble do you presently face? The problems you face may not seem severe to someone else but they are intense to you.

Has trouble come to you in the large economy-size package? How are you handling your problems? Do you take God’s viewpoint on pain?

1 Peter 1:7

“That the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ.” 

This verse informs us as to the purpose of trials. Once a person becomes a Christian, does that mean he/she is free from problems?

No, the Christian is not exempt from pain and problems. We all experience trouble and setbacks in this life.

That the genuineness of your faith

The word “that” indicates purpose. God’s purpose in trial is our tryout, not our ruin. Two results come from “many colored trials”: 1) they refine our faith and 2) they test for approval the reality of our faith.

The word “genuineness” means to test for approval. It means to test to find if something is genuine. This is the act of putting someone to the test to determine whether he/she is worthy of being approved or not. The test aims at approval if possible. Note these New Testament uses of the word “genuineness”: “I bought five pairs of oxen and am on my way to test them out,” Luke 14:19. “Everyone should examine himself, and then eat the bread and drink from the cup,” 1 Corinthians 11:28. “Being tested severely by the troubles,” 2 Corinthians 8:2. “The testing of your faith produces endurance,” James 1:3. “When your fathers tested and tried (me),” Hebrews 3:9.

Greek literature used the word “test” for examining candidates for a medical doctorate. Candidates for a medical doctorate must be tested. It is crucial to find out if they are the genuine thing. We do not want an incompetent surgeon operating on us. When doctors prove genuine by examining, they meet the attestation.

It is obvious that God wants to discover what constitutes our character. Character is best ascertained when we are placed under duress. God will detect our weakness and strength by giving us an exam. It will be a difficult exam. Get out your blue books. God is about to find out the genuineness of your faith!

Principle

God refines our faith by trial.

Application

When it comes to trials, everyone is in one of these three stages: They are experiencing a trial, coming out of a trial or about to go into a trial!

In the Detroit, Mich., area there are proving grounds for automobiles. The purpose of these proving grounds is to test the mechanical soundness of cars before they are out on the market. Test drivers run these cars for days without turning off the motor. The cars are put through bumps, curves, water, hills and many more obstacles for long periods of time. The manufacturing companies want to know whether the shocks and brakes are going to hold up under punishment. In the same way,. God wants to develop our faith so that we will stand up to the bumps of life.

Have you assayed your life? Have you found it genuine? Will you pass the exam?

Will God regard you as appropriate for His service? God makes His assessment after He puts us to the test. He will judge us to ensure we are real and genuine, and if we are He will approve us for service.

That the genuineness of your faith

The New Testament uses the word “genuineness” in the context of purifying and strengthening metals by passing them through fire. The fire melts the ore and brings the dross to the surface, where it can be skimmed off. After the metal cools, it is much stronger.

If a gold mining company wishes to develop a new site, it sends someone to assay the metal to see whether the gold is genuine and of sufficient quantity to warrant investment in the mine. The assayer takes a sample of the gold to the laboratory and examines it. He then sends his report about the quality of the ore to the company. The report is more valuable than the gold sent with the report. On the basis of the report the company will make a decision as to whether it will proceed with the project. In the same way, God wants a faith that can take the test. God is looking for people He can trust. If God finds our faith one He can approve, then He knows that we stand the tests of life. He wants to know the quality of our faith.

Something is genuine if it is without alloy. An alloy is a mixture of more than one metal. Lesser metals mixed with stronger metals weaken the stronger metals. God does not want the metal (character) of our lives mixed with lesser things.

The fiery tests of our faith bring greater strength to our spiritual lives. They remove the impurities in our lives. We may say that we trust God but we often mix that trust with dependence upon self. Our faith then needs purifying. We need tests to cleanse these impurities.

Principle

A purpose of trials is to test our faith.

Application

Do you have a heavy heart? Every Christian faces disappointments and discouragement. Some people get the idea that a Christian should be immune from trouble. But trouble and trouble will come to all of us, in different shapes and sizes.

What does your faith prove? When God sends an ordeal into your life, how do you react? When God gives you a bitter pill, do you swallow it as God’s will? Many wounds make up our lives. It is not enough to simply endure them.

We increase our faith by the assimilation of God’s Word (Romans 10:17) and by the application of what we know (Hebrews 4:1-3). The approval of our faith is more important than the approval of gold.

being much more precious than gold that perishes

Gold is a precious metal, but the test of our faith is much more precious than the test for gold.

This phrase describes our faith, not the trial of our faith: “being much more precious.” Similar uses of the phrase “much more” also occur in: Romans 5:9 “Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him.” Romans 5:10 “For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.” Romans 5:15 “But the free gift is not like the offense. For if by the one man’s offense many died, much more the grace of God and the gift by the grace of the one Man, Jesus Christ, abounded to many.” Romans 5:20 “Moreover the law entered that the offense might abound. But where sin abounded, grace abounded much more.”

Our faith is much more precious than anything else we possess. We have nothing more valuable than our faith. The closer we get to death, the more we realize how precious it is.

Peter uses the word “precious” seven times in 1 and 2 Peter. We use “precious” for just about anything. We say, “Isn’t that a precious necklace.” The Bible, however, uses this term for that which is of ultimate value. Acts 20:24 says “However, I consider my life worth nothing to me, if only I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the gospel of God’s grace.”

The word “worth” is the same as the word “precious” in our passage. Paul’s testimony is the value here. Hebrews 13:4 says marriage is precious. “Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral.”

The contrast between gold and our faith in 1 Peter 1:7 is between material and spiritual wealth. Material wealth perishes; spiritual wealth does not (Psalm 119:127; Proverbs 8:11).

After gold liquefies in fire, the impurities rise to the surface, where they can be skimmed away. When the goldsmith sees his face in the gold, he knows he can turn down the heat. He knows that the gold is purified. God compares our faith with gold because He deems it a precious commodity.

Yet gold is of only temporal value. The Christian’s faith is of eternal value.

Principle

God deems a faith tested by fire as being of eternal value.

Application

One day gold will perish. Our faith will never perish. This passage says if your faith is real, it cannot perish. If you lost your faith you never had a true faith in the beginning.

though it is tested by fire

The word “tested” means–test to approve, to prove with a view to approving, test for approval. The trials test for proof that our faith is genuine. God wants to certify the worth of our faith. Our faith is the foundation of all other character qualities we possess. If our faith falters, everything falters.

We put metal into a crucible to determine whether it is genuine (Proverbs 8:10; 17:3). God tests, proves and scrutinizes us by fire to show that we are worthy for His service.

In 1 Thessalonians 2:4, the apostle and his fellow missionaries were “approved of God to be entrusted with the Gospel.” God gives approval for us to preach after He puts us to the test.

The Corinthians did not find in Paul the proof of the power that they sought (2 Corinthians 13:3). However, Paul reminds them that what ultimately counts is not what men think but what God thinks. God’s commendation at the end of the day is what matters. 2 Corinthians 10: 18 says, “For not he who commends himself is approved, but whom the Lord commends.”

God proves our attestation in affliction. The pressure put on us when we are under strain will either produce endurance or failure. Suffering produces endurance (Romans 5:3-4). The Macedonians remained both joyous and generous under duress (2 Corinthians 8:2). Testing sifts out authentic believers (2 Corinthians 9:13; 11:19). It attests to our love for God (2 Corinthians 8:8).

God sets the believer under His searching eye. We learn the will of God by testing (Romans 12:2; Ephesians 5:9-10; Philippians 1:10; 1 Thessalonians 5:21). Testing protects Christians from caprice and brings them into the sphere of God’s will.

When Jesus prayed for Peter, He asked God to strengthen his faith: “And the Lord said, Simon, Simon! Indeed, Satan has asked for you, that he may sift you as wheat. 32 But I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail; and when you have returned to Me, strengthen your brethren,” (Luke 22:31-32). Now in 1 Peter, Peter writes about the importance of faith holding up under fire. Our faith improves by trial.

The nature of our test is a fire-test. The trial of faith is more precious than the test for gold already refined.

Here is a double comparison of the trial of gold with the trial of faith. Gold at the time of writing of 1 Peter was the most valuable of all the metals. Faith is the greatest among Christian values. The trial of faith is of greater value than the trial for gold. Both trials purify. The purification of gold separates the dross from the precious metal. The purification of faith separates the garbage from the Christian life.

Principle

God uses extreme adversity (“fire”) to force out the impurities and the things that are unimportant in our lives.

Application

Peter compares our faith to gold that is precious from the human viewpoint. Suffering brings the impurities out of our lives and makes us useful to God. This kind of faith is more valuable than gold. God takes the slag out of our lives.

God does not test our faith in prosperity but in adversity. God kicks out the crutches from our lives. He skims off the slag of dependence on other people, upon our social life, upon health, beauty, sex or material possessions. Trouble will come that can wipe out these things. These things will not sustain us in times of duress. Good times do not sustain us; only God can sustain us by his promises.

How many times have we prayed, “Lord, take it away.” God put it there. He wants it there. He wants us to learn to trust Him in adversity. Some people quote 2 Corinthians 10:13, “but with the temptation will also make the way of escape” with the interpretation that they will “escape” from problems. They want to get out from under the trouble so that it does not hurt anymore. Escape does not prove a thing.

For some people, the only time they think seriously about God is when they are in a jam. If they were honest they would say, “Now God, I’m in this terrible jam. It hurts terribly. Make it stop hurting. Wave your divine wand to make it stop.” That is why they want a God. They want a divine pacifier. As soon as the trouble passes, they forget all about God again.

God’s way of escape is IN suffering. He allows suffering so that we can know joy while going through trouble. We will get out of the trial sooner or later. But that is not the answer. The answer is what we do while under pressure.

may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ

God is the one who does the finding here, not us. God will find whether our faith glorifies Him or not. Long after gold is gone our faith will remain. If our faith meets the test, it will redound to the glory of God.

The word “found” means to find after a search. God puts our faith to the test to approve us for the glory of God. Trials put our faith to the test. If we trust Him to meet us in our need, it glorifies Him. It is not the testing of our faith that glorifies God. It is whether our faith meets the test.

The trial of our faith will produce three results: praise, honor and glory. These results are all in the future.

If we reduce 1 Peter 1:7 down to its least common denominator it would read like this, “That the genuineness of your faith…be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ.” Our faith produces something for the future.

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.” Trials will not last forever. And God furnishes the equipment to support us while we are in them. 

Material wealth perishes; spiritual wealth is imperishable. The person who places spiritual values above temporal values operates on genuine, eternal priorities.

Principle

The trial of faith is producing something for us in the future.

Application

Jesus is coming again. When we meet Him, the character of our faith will be manifest. The greater the refining process, the brighter it will appear. Trials will disappear but the luster of the trial will proceed into eternity. This should reconcile us to our present afflictions.

Christians do not judge their life based solely on time but on eternity as well.

to praise, honor, and glory

“Praise” is the expression of honor. Jesus will express His approval at that day. The word “praise” is a compound of two words “upon” and “a tale.” It meant to tell a tale about someone. It came to mean “praise” with the idea of commendation or approbation.

“Honor” is the esteem that someone has for someone else. God will honor our faith when we meet the Lord Jesus.

Proverbs 18: 12 says “But humility comes before honor.” We know little about humility. The station this side of honor is humility. We cannot get to the second station without stopping at the first station. If we receive honor without humility, it might go to our head. We would inflate with our own importance.

One day we will stand before the judgment seat of Christ. We will get our grades then. Some of us will receive more honor than others. Some will have crowns. Some will have none.

“Glory” means to manifest the attributes of a person. This is the glory that results from a good opinion. Does God have a good opinion of us? The New Testament uses “glory” to refer to the blessed estate of the children of God when they are brought into the glorification of the likeness of Christ.

God will make a big deal of the quality of our faith on Earth. In the marketplace of eternity, gold will be of little value. The quality of our faith will be of much greater worth.

Very few of us receive glory here on Earth. The reason faith is more valuable than gold is that when we meet God, He will find it to have honor, praise and glory.

Principle God has established a day when we will get our due.

Application

We do not get much praise here on Earth. That’s life. If you are inclined to praise someone down here, don’t hesitate to do so. If you fear that they will think it is flattery, do it anyway.

One day we will receive praise from the most important person of the universe.

1 Corinthians 4:5 says, “Therefore judge nothing before the appointed time; wait till the Lord comes. He will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will expose the motives of men’s hearts. At that time each will receive his praise from God.

When the Lord comes back and we stand before Him, we will receive our due then.

at the revelation of Jesus Christ

The word “revelation” means unveiling. This refers to the return of the Lord Jesus. 1 Peter 5:4 says “And when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that does not fade away.” 1 John 2:28: “And now, little children, abide in Him, that when He appears, we may have confidence and not be ashamed before Him at His coming.” 1 John 3:2: “Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. 3And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.

Principle

God will manifest the eternal value of the life of faith when Jesus returns

Application

Do you anticipate His return? He may come today.

The three results of the glorification of the believer: praise, honor and glory will take place at the coming of Christ. God honors those who prove their faith.

1 Peter 1:8

“Whom having not seen you love. Though now you do not see Him, yet believing, you rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory” 

Whom having not seen you love

The Greek says “toward whom you now do not see.” Our faith finds full expression in the direction of our faith – the Lord Jesus. We find joy in a person.

The emphasis in this phrase is upon the person of Christ – “whom.” The Greek implies the idea of “toward whom” placing emphasis upon the direction of our faith toward a person.  Joy resides in a person. He is the ground of our joy. God accomplished salvation through the work of His Son Jesus Christ. Joy stems from the possession of that salvation.

The word “seen” means to catch a glimpse. Asia Minor’s Christians had not even caught a glimpse of the Lord Jesus on earth yet they loved Him. They never had eye to eye personal contact with the Lord yet they loved him dearly.

We do not need a picture of Jesus to love Him. We do not rely on some artist conception of Him to appreciate what He has done for us. However, we cannot love someone unless we have a clear conception of who that person is. We must know a person before we can love him or her properly. I John 4: 7-9 “Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. 8He who does not love does not know God, for God is love. 9 In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him. 10 In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.

To know Him is to love Him; to know Him better is to love Him better.

The Old Testament’s saints had not seen Him either yet they lived by faith (Hebrews 11). The Holy Spirit paints a vivid portrait of Him in the Word. Without the Holy Spirit’s revelation of Him in the Word, we cannot love him. Romans 5: 5 says, “Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.” If you do not know the Lord Jesus you are missing out on life with a capital “L.”

Napoleon made a powerful point about the Lord Jesus when he said, “An extraordinary power of influencing and commanding men has been given to Alexander (the Great), Charlemagne and myself. But with us the presence was necessary, the eye, the voice, the hand. Whereas Jesus Christ has influenced and commanded His subjects without His visible bodily presence for eighteen hundred years.”

One day we will see Jesus: “They shall see His face, and His name shall be on their foreheads,” (Revelation 22:4). Do you anticipate the day that you will see the Lord Jesus Christ? Unless we have the eye of faith in time, we will never see His face in eternity.

Principle

The more we know the Lord Jesus the more we love Him.

Application

We did not fall in love with our spouses before we saw them! A marvel is that multiplied millions have fallen in love with the Lord Jesus without ever seeing Him. Very few people saw Him during the brief 33 and a half years He spent on earth, yet thousands have given their lives for Him.

When we utilize God’s provision for us in time, the result is a wonderful love affair between us and God. The focus of a believer’s faith is not on abstract knowledge but on the person of Christ. Yet we cannot know the person of Christ without the Word of God.

Whom having not seen you love

Remember that Jesus challenged Peter to love Him in John 21. Jesus interrogated Him three times about this love. Now Peter expresses his love for Him many years later.

The Bible promises reward for those who love him: “Blessed is the man who endures temptation; for when he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him,” (James 1:12).

We should love the Lord because He first loved us; “We love Him because He first loved us,” (I John 4:19). Once we come to grips with the fact that Jesus died on the cross for our personal sins (in our place), we cannot help but love Him. It melts our heart. No one ever loved us like the Lord Jesus.

Principle

We love the Lord Jesus because he took the initiative to die for our sins.

Application

If Jesus does not mean anything to you except a name in a history book, then you are not a Christian. You may be religious but you are not a true Christian. A true Christian loves the Lord.

You can always tell when a person loves the Lord Jesus by the way he or she talks about Him. People do not talk about Julius Caesar the same way they talk about the Lord Jesus. Everything we have is because of Him.

If anyone does not love the Lord Jesus Christ, let him be accursed. O Lord, come!” (I Corinthians 16:22). Do you love the Lord Jesus, yes or no? You reply, “Well, I am neutral. I don’t know. I’ve never heard it put quite like that.” But the truth is that if we do not love the Lord, then from God’s viewpoint we are “accursed.”

Though now you do not see Him

We find the same words “though now” in verse six. The word “now” speaks of present tense. This is the time in which we live. Yesterday is gone; tomorrow we do not yet possess. We have the present right now.

Unlike Peter, the people of Asia Minor to whom he is writing had never seen Jesus face to face. They were disciples of the apostles. We have not seen Jesus, but we will see Him one day (Revelation 22:4; I Corinthians 13:12).

yet believing

The Lord Jesus is worthy of our trust. “Believing” is an issue of the trustworthiness of Christ. Nothing spreads peace over our hearts like putting our trust in One so worthy. The Greek indicates that this is an active reliance upon Him. We put our trust upon a person.

“Believing” is how a Christian sees. The non-Christian world says, “Show me; seeing is believing.” We cannot come to Christ that way. The Bible’s idea is “believing is seeing.” “I would have lost heart, unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living,” (Psalm 27:13).

Principle

Believing is seeing.

Application

We cannot see until we believe. If you do not believe you cannot see, thus you are blind spiritually. When people come to Christ, God removes the scales from their eyes. They see spiritually for the first time. Their reaction is “Why did I not see this before? Why didn’t anyone tell me?”

Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed,” (John 20:29). Have you come to believe in Jesus Christ? This is the single requirement to become a Christian: John 1:12, “But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name.” John 3:15-18, “That whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. 16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. 17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. 18 He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.” John 3:36 “He who believes in the Son has everlasting life; and he who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.” John 5:24 “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life.” John 6:35 “And Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst.” John 20:31 “But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name.

you rejoice

Peter uses this word “rejoice” in chapter 4, verse 13. In ancient Greek the word “rejoice” meant to plume oneself in the sense of joyful pride.

Joy is the inner animation of the soul. Biblical joy is not happiness. Happiness depends on circumstances. If we have good circumstances we are happy; if not, we are unhappy. Joy, however, is independent of circumstances. Joy depends on our present relationship to God. Revelation 19:7 “Let us be glad and rejoice and give Him glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His wife has made herself ready.”

We rejoice when we look to God’s saving work in Christ. I John 1:3-4 “That which we have seen and heard we declare to you, that you also may have fellowship with us; and truly our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ. 4And these things we write to you that your joy may be full.”

Principle

Present joy depends on our present relationship to Jesus Christ.

Application

Present joy depends on our present relationship to Jesus Christ. Yesterday’s faith will not contribute to today’s joy. Yesterday’s meals will not satisfy today’s hunger. Present joy depends on present trust in Christ. It springs from our sense of forgiveness, our appreciation for the cross.

Joy does not depend on whether Caesar stops persecuting Christians; it depends on our relationship to Jesus Christ. What is your relationship to Jesus Christ like at this moment?

Has your faith grown lukewarm? Are you existing rather than living? Maybe you are going through deep trouble as you read this devotional. Is it unbearable? The key issue is how you resolve the problem. Are you merely bearing up under the pain? Are you experiencing the joy of God?

Someone asked J. D. Rockefeller, “How much money would it take to make a person happy?” He answered, “Just a little bit more.” All of us have known the staleness of excess and intemperate indulgence. Indulgence is fleeting enjoyment based on things, circumstances and people. These things do not ultimately satisfy.

The Bible has a different system for the possession of joy. We find joy in fellowship with a person.

Joy is not an end in itself, but a result. Joy comes from the fact that we are daily in a right relationship with God through faith in Christ.  “Very well,” you say, “I know that my joy comes from God. That is not my trouble. What happens when I lose my joy?” Joy does not rest on us but God. If God planned it and initiated it, He will see it to fruition in our souls. Many failures in the Christian life originate right here. People say, “I’m through, I’ve failed, I cannot live the Christian life.” Nothing could be truer. We cannot live the Christian life. We cannot produce or maintain the Christian life.

God must empower us or we will indeed fail. Joy is strictly contemporaneous with faith. If we tear away an electric cord from its source of energy, the light goes out. The same is true in the Christian life. If we separate ourselves from the person of Christ, we lose the source of our joy. He is our source of power. If we do not plug into Him, we cut off fellowship with him; we cut off our source of joy.

The joyous Christian is not necessarily the one with the least trouble. Often, he is the one with the greatest trouble. He has found the truth that Christ is with him in his difficulty. Nowhere does God promise us an easy path of roses. Anyone can glory in prosperity. To say with Job, “though he slays me, yet will I trust him” is true Christian living.

Did you ever notice that Jesus sang before He went to the garden of Gethsemane? Matthew 26:30 “And when they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives.” On His way to the cross He was singing! He knew that the cross led to the empty tomb and victory over sin. He knew His Father was with Him. These principles transcended circumstances.

Why wait till we get to heaven to receive true joy? We can find joy as we travel along. It is foolish to wait for the heights before we enjoy the scenery.

Yesterday’s meals will not satisfy today’s hunger.

Neither will yesterday’s faith satisfy today’s joy.

Present joy depends on present faith.

with joy inexpressible

There are two qualifications that describe joy. These qualifications will help you determine whether you have joy.

Qualification number 1 – “joy inexpressible”

Qualification number 2 – “and full of glory”

The first qualification of this joy is the word “inexpressible.” Biblical joy is beyond description.

Joy is found in the “whom” of this verse. Joy is found in the person of the Lord Jesus Christ. God is the object and ground of the believer’s joy.

“Inexpressible” means unable to tell out. Our joy surpasses our ability to describe it. We cannot express properly our joy in God. It passes all human speech. All attempts to circumscribe it will end in frustration. Still water runs deep. This goes beyond personality and psyche. This is not psychology but spirituality!

We can count a poor man’s wealth. Often, extraordinarily rich people cannot count their wealth. They have their riches in many forms: stocks, banks, businesses. We cannot count our riches in Christ. He is a limitless resource to our spirituality.

We can cram shallow emotions into the limits of human vocabulary. However, deep emotions cannot be fully expressed. How can we explain the love for our spouse or child? We can broach the subject but we can never fully describe that kind of love. It is impossible to describe to others precisely how much and what kind of love we have for them. In shallow streams, we can see pebbles below the water, but in the ocean there are depths that have never been searched by men. So it is with Christ. “But as it is written: “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him,” (I Corinthians. 2:9).

Are you thinking on the things God has prepared for you? The joy of your life depends on the character of your thoughts.

Joy is not an end in itself, but a result of our faith. We reside in right relation to God through faith. We cannot live the Christian life; we need to trust God to empower us to live it.

Principle

Joy is the flag of the heart that shows the King is in residence.

Application

If we fly high enough, we will get into clear skies. The joy of our lives depends on the character of our thoughts. Joy does not depend upon circumstances, so joy is not happiness.

Happiness depends upon what happens to us. “Do I have good health? Do I have congenial company? Am I financially set? Do I have pleasant circumstances?” Happiness then is not joy.

A person may have joy when he does not have happiness. It is possible to lay on a hospital bed with joy. We can have physical affliction and rejoice in it. Happiness and unhappiness do not exist together but joy and sorrow can exist together.

The Lord was called “a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief,” (Isaiah 53:3), yet we read that he held both joy and pain at the same time, Hebrews 12:2 says “looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”

Another example is Paul. Paul was in prison. This is not a very happy situation, but he sang praises to God there. As a result the Philippian jailer came to Christ. It is foolish to wait until we have reached the heights before we view the scenery.

We find joy in a person, not circumstances. Do you remember when you first came to Christ? You could not hold your joy. It burst forth everywhere. You were full and running over. Somewhere along the way it leaked out.

Christian joy is an exulting joy. This is the joy of the prisoner on the day of his release from prison. We breathe out the joy from within. This joy spreads throughout our soul like a newly broken bottle of poignant perfume. The aroma penetrates our proximity until its fragrance moves everywhere we go.

Do you have personal joy? What is your view of Christ and His provisions for you?

and full of glory

The second qualification of our joy is the phrase “full of glory.”

There are many ordinary joys of men. For example, “The Yankees won the pennant!!” This kind of joy is fragile and hollow. It is like bubble that breaks on its own accord. This is not the “glory” of this verse.

The phrase “full of glory” means glorified. This phrase should be translated “having received glory.” The Christian’s body is not yet glorified but his joy can be. Joy depends on our mental attitude toward Christ not on our external resources. This would be an obvious platitude were it not for the fact that 99% of Christians do not believe it!

Principle

The joy that Christians have receives glory when they orient to the Lord.

Application

Christians can radiate with the glory of heaven. The believer is not yet glorified but his joy is if he enters into fellowship with the Lord.

This is not the glory of clapping hands or some overt emotional activity. This is the inner mental joy that comes from exposure to the glory of God. This is the glory of Christ. If we dislodge love for the Lord Jesus Christ based on the Word of God, then inner glory will leave us.

Glory is something we receive. We receive glory only in conjunction with joy in God. This is the glory of inner orientation to God, no matter what circumstance may come our way. God gives glory to everyone who experiences joy in him.

Glory is an overt word. When we come to grips with what Jesus has done for us, then we enter into glory. This is all inside. As a result, God gives us a glory or glamour. Glory and glamour are often synonymous terms that describe the manifestation of genuine Christian living.

“Glory” does not mean to scream and holler and jump around. It is a command to inner animation. We can only experience glory by fellowship with God. A person in fellowship with the Lord is free from attitudinal sins.

If we have a day when things are not going right, glory liberates us from attitude sins. Mental attitude sins produce misery. Envy, jealousy, bitterness, pride, vindictiveness all produce selfinduced misery. All this bile will come to the surface at a time we least expect it. When we experience the glory of fellowship with the Lord, it will expel attitude sins.

1 Peter 1:9

“Receiving the end of your faith – the salvation of your souls.” 

receiving the end of your faith

The word “receiving” means to receive back. The secular Greek language used this word to define the recovery of debts. The tax-collector would go from place to place collecting what was coming to him. In the same way, we collect a whole life in Christ. He meets every need. He fills our soul with joy (v.1 Pet. 1:8).

The word “receiving” also has the idea of acquiring for oneself. In the Greek it means to carry off for oneself, to get what is promised. We need to personally appropriate the end of our faith in order to enter the joy of our salvation.

The secular Greek language used “receiving” to refer to winning prizes in games. “Receiving” is the basis of our joy of verse 8. We rejoice with a joy that has already attained its full perfection. This is the ultimate reception of glory.

Whatever we receive from God we receive by faith (II Corinthians 5:7; Colossians 2:6). We can develop our faith by exercise.

The word “receive” is present tense. This receiving is not future; it is a present reality. We can receive the end of our faith right now, the blessing of our salvation. We have already received the end of our faith in the person of Jesus Christ. Joy has already attained full perfection in Christ.

The “end” is the culmination of our faith. This is not the cessation or conclusion but the goal of our faith. Here it refers to the object to which we direct our faith. This word alludes to a prize received in a game. Our salvation is the crown of the Christian life. The end of our faith is the completion, conclusion and consummation of our faith. It is that for which we believe.

Principle

We can enjoy heaven now; we do not need to wait till we get to heaven.

Application

It is foolish to wait until we have reached the heights before we view the scenery. We can enjoy future reward now.

We can enjoy our eternal reward and can receive the goal of our salvation right now. We do not need to wait until eternity to enjoy salvation. God wants us to personally appropriate and enjoy these blessings in time.

the salvation of your souls

The word “salvation” occurs in verses 5,9 and 10. We live in a day of religion. The Bible uses the word “religion” but never uses it as a synonym for salvation. It is possible to have tons of religion but not one ounce of salvation.

In verses 1 to 12 we read the name of our Lord Jesus Christ seven times. Apart from Him there is no salvation (Acts 4:12). Religion will teach us ethics but not afford salvation. It will give us a veneer of ethics but not eternity. God does not give us heaven on the basis of religious ideals. God’s system of salvation pivots around the person and work of the Lord Jesus. These are the facts of the Bible.

Christians rejoice because they are in the process (present tense) of realizing the goal of their faith — salvation. Salvation in the New Testament has three phases. 1. The past – our sins were once for all cleansed on the cross of Christ (Galatians 1:4) 2. The present – we are being saved from the power of sin (Romans 8:2). 3. The future – we will be saved from the presence of sin (II Corinthians 5:1).

Salvation means deliverance. God saves the soul in two ways: 1) we are being spiritually saved in the here and now; 2) the soul is physically saved when it receives its resurrection body. The resurrection body is where the soul will be housed forever. So there is both a spiritual and a physical deliverance of the soul. This is positional and ultimate sanctification. Both are involved here.

The “soul” is the central personality of our being. The salvation of our souls brings salvation to the being that lives within our body. Every human body has a soul inside it, which persists after we put the body into the casket and buried.

We are not our body. If we lose a leg we are still the same person. We are not our body; we live in our body. Our body eventually dies but our soul continues forever. If a person dies without Christ he or she goes to hell; if a person dies with Christ he or she goes to heaven.

The present salvation is the salvation from the pain of persecution. When God saves, he does a total job. At the point we accept Jesus Christ as our personal Savior, not only is we’re saved from hell but we now have the potential of salvation from daily sins (Romans 6: 6-7).

Principle

We not only have a Savior but a Sustainer.

Application

Salvation began at one point and continues into eternity. We presently possess eternal salvation. Every Christian also daily receives the salvation of the soul. This is progressive salvation. Those in deep distress need to focus on the long-range view of our salvation. God is saving him in the trial he faces.

A wonderful thing about knowing the Lord is having a Savior and a Sustainer. If we fall into sin, there is the temptation to despair. If we feel that we are not getting our share, we do not draw upon the end of our faith. If others say it is not right that we should suffer so, we put our eyes on the wrong place. The Lord both understands, knows and concurs with everything that happens to us.

We need to cast all our heartaches at the feet of the Savior (Hebrews 4:16). Then we can get up from our knees and go out with a life of joy. Troubles have not changed; we have changed. Our vantage point is nowadays different; we now look at problems from God’s viewpoint, not our own viewpoint.

If we look at problems, they are mountain high. When God looks at them, the problems are as pebbles. God is still on the throne and Jesus is still seated at the right hand of the Father. Are you open to stage a spiritual comeback?

Do you know you possess salvation? You say, “I hope I’m saved.” That is like saying, “I hope I am married.” If you do not know whether you are married or not, you are not married! God does not save you without letting you know about it! We cannot be saved without making a definite decision. Just like we cannot be married against our will, we cannot become a Christian against our will. You must make a decision, “I will accept the death of Christ as payment for my sin.”

If we wait until we die to find out whether we have salvation we have waited too long (Mark 8:36).

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