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Joy in Spite of Suffering


1 Peter 1.6-7
In 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.

Since coming to know Christ as your personal Savior, have you thought about rejoicing during your trials? What if I told you that the trials and suffering that you are facing bring about a genuine faith that will result in praise, glory and honor at the revealing of Christ Jesus? Now I know this type of thought is not going to win any popularity contest for the “Most Exciting Christian Message” award. But the reality is, while it may not be the most popular, it is foundational to our faith as believers in Christ.
 
Peter’s main focus in verses 6-7 is upon the believer’s genuine faith in God’s sight on the day of judgment. Peter is not trying to minimize the believer’s trials; he mentions in verse 6 that trials do grieve the genuine believer. But it’s for a purpose that you and I experience various trials, primarily because the trials that we face test the genuineness of our faith. The sense of the Greek word for genuineness deals with something that is not fake or counterfeit. Peter even suggests that proven faith turns out to be more precious than gold that perishes. Gold has to go through a refining process to make sure that it is 100% pure. Anything that is not pure gold will burn up in the fire leaving only that which is 100% pure gold. God desires to purify us.
 
Most people in the world view gold as a very precious item to have, hence it stays locked up behind lock and key and guarded 24/7. Yet Peter suggests that your faith is more precious than this. That is, if your faith is found to be genuine (i.e., not counterfeit), how you deal with suffering and trials reveals your faith in Christ. The trials reveal who we truly are and what we truly believe about God. Seasons of trials and suffering are meant to refine us to become more like Christ. Therefore, we have joy because God is using the trials and circumstances of our life to reveal Himself in and through us.
 
Peter suggests rejoicing during your trials. To have joy in the midst of suffering can only occur by God’s divine grace and supernatural joy coming to you through the Holy Spirit. You find that you are learning to lean more on Christ than on yourself. You are learning to trust God more and experience His joy in the midst of pain and suffering. I am not saying this is easy by any means. In fact this process can be difficult. But it’s only for a season in light of eternity with God. I believe this perspective for the believer provides a vision for hope, purpose and meaning for the suffering that one endures in this life.
 
Maybe you are experiencing suffering of various kinds today. Perhaps the trials that you are facing have grieved you immensely. How do you make sense of what you’re going through? Does it cause you to have joy knowing that your faith is being tested to bring about praise, glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ? Fellow believers in Christ, today I want to encourage you to rejoice in God in the midst of your trials, for they are producing genuine faith that is not fake nor counterfeit. Now may the God of hope and joy deeply bless you today.
 
In Christ’s Service,
 
Cody Ragland