1Pe 1:6-9 “Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations: 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: 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: Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls.”
Peter has just spoken to these resident foreigners about the lively hope and the wonderful inheritance that has come to them (and us) through the resurrection of Jesus from the dead. This meant so much to these people that they were jumping for joy (the Greek meaning of the word interpreted as rejoice). Do you remember as a child when you would find out you were going to get to do something you desperately wanted to do? Maybe it was a trip to your favorite amusement park, a concert, or going fishing. Can you remember being so full of joy and excitement at the prospect that you could not stand still? Do you remember jumping up and down in your anticipation of the upcoming event? This is the kind of joy and anticipation (except on a deeper level) that we should experience as we come into the knowledge of the grace and love or our Lord and Savior. Our anticipation at meeting with His body (the church), or seeing Him manifested in our lives or the lives of those around us should elicit from us great rejoicing!
There should be great rejoicing in our lives, even when we find ourselves faced with some sadness (heaviness) through various adversities. We are faced with all sorts of adversities in life. Family problems, financial problems, personality conflicts, hate and anger, no concern for the lives of others, great apathy towards the church and the service of God, and the list goes on. How can we possibly find rejoicing in such times and situations? According to the scripture, these adversities are a necessity (“need be”), for they test the trustworthiness of our faith. The trials we face become the mirror by which we can examine our faith and see the work of the Great Refiner.
Our faith is more valuable than gold. Gold will someday become useless to us, but our faith, put through the Refiner’s fire, becomes more valuable. Gold cannot buy us health, but faith can keep us from despair when our health fails. Gold cannot buy us love, but faith can keep us centered on One who loves us with an everlasting love. Gold cannot buy revival in the church, but faith can keep us fixed on the only true Source of revival. The trial of our faith allows us to grow so that our faith will bring us to the place of discovering true praise, honor, and glory when we see Jesus by the eye of faith.
Although we have not seen Him with our natural eyes, we love, praise, and honor Him because, in faith, we see Him resurrected from the dead and alive forever more. We believe in Him, His love, His power, His mercy, and His majesty. Our refined faith brings us to ever greater heights of joy and glory; so much so that we cannot tell it, only experience it. And in this great experience, we receive the end of our faith.
Notice the tense in which Peter speaks of this. He is speaking of a current love for Jesus, a current belief in Jesus, and a current rejoicing in Jesus. In that same vein, he is speaking of a current “end” of our faith. Not as though our faith is now expired or no longer necessary, but that our faith has come to fruition. Through the trial of our precious faith, we have come to understand the very salvation of our souls in Jesus! We have come to a “jumping up and down” joy of the assurance of the resurrection, of the wonder of a secure inheritance, and the presence of the living Jesus in our souls!
May we all experience this joy unspeakable and full of glory in our service to Him!