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In trials, Rejoice!

In trials, Rejoice!
1 Peter 1:1-12 NIV.

Have you ever been in a situation where you've been mistreated or made to feel awkward because you're a Christian? Or you're aware of a worldly pattern in your circle - maybe with work or peers - that makes it hard to live as a Christian. These and similar are examples of trials. The challenge of trials is to lose heart or give in.

So Peter writes in his epistle to encourage persecuted Christians in his day and us today. Peter addresses believers as God's elect exiles (v1), chosen by God but exiles to the world, facing all kinds of trials (v6).

And in the face of trials, what do we do? Rather than lose heart or give in, Peter says Rejoice! Rejoice and be thankful to God because of the kind of new birth - the kind of faith - He gave us.

When you undergo trials, rejoice because:

  • Your faith is awarded! (v3-6)
Peter begins by praising God for our living hope, the hope of an eternal inheritance for those born of Christ (v3-5). And this hope we have ought to bring such rejoicing in our hearts that makes any present trial we face, however challenging, seem "for a little while" (v6). Like a runner who perseveres under pressure because of the prize, the future award for our faith in Christ is a reason to rejoice in trial and persist in faith.

  • Your faith is proven authentic! (v7-9)
Peter uses the analogy of refined gold to say that trials prove our faith to be authentic (v7-8). But our refinement is much more precious than perishable gold because ours leads to the salvation of our souls - meaning they draw us closer to God - an imperishable result indeed (v9). Therefore, we rejoice in what trial does for our souls. God refines us through it. (James 1:2).

  • Your faith is attractive! (v10-12)
Remember the great men of old? Moses, Samuel, David, Solomon and so on. The best judges, the greatest king, the wisest man, and all who prophesied into the coming Messiah. Well, they all trusted God, but had one expectation: they longed for the kind of faith you have! (v10-12; Hebrews 11:39-40). If you still don't get it, the kind of faith you have is what even angels dream of (v12). Wow, how wonderful!

So, amid trials, rejoice! Remember that God's award to your new birth is an imperishable heavenly inheritance. Remember the refining work God does in you through trials, making our faith authentic. And remember that what you have was longed for by generations, even angels!

Reflect & Pray
How do you respond in trials? In what way can remembering Peter's encouragement about your faith help you rejoice amid trial?
Father, when we feel the weight, rejection, and aloneness of trials, we ask that You remind us of how wonderful our new birth - our faith in You - is, in Jesus' name, amen.

God bless you exceedingly,
Sam.

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