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1 Peter: Glorious Joy, In All Kinds of Trials (1:6-9)

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A glorious and inexpressible joy

In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls.

1 Peter 1:6-9 NIV

In This, You Rejoice

We can greatly rejoice because of what God has done in our lives. He has given us new birth into a living hope and an imperishable inheritance. Our future rests secure in him. We may, and likely do, experience trials in this life. It is a natural part of life in this world. And even more for those who seek to faithfully live for Christ. 

You probably find that most people around you will complain about their challenges in life. And it is certainly tempting to join them in that complaining. But, as believers, we can, and should, rejoice. Not because we like the trials and challenges of this life. But because we trust that God will use those trials in our lives to help us to grow in maturity and usefulness to him (Rom. 5:3-5; Jam. 1:2-4). Peter will go on to express another reason why we can rejoice in our trials.

The Proven Genuineness of Your Faith

Is there any purpose served by the trials that we face? Peter tells us that there is. They have come to demonstrate the genuineness of our faith. Only a true and living faith will survive through trials. Faith with no depth behind it will collapse when the trials come. My response to trials will tell me, and the world, a lot about the reality of my faith.

Peter compares the testing of my faith to the refining of gold. The refining process heats gold to the melting point, which separates the gold from any impurities. The impurities can then be removed, leaving behind pure gold. So the trials I experience act to refine, or purify, my life; at least if my faith is real. When I am faced with life’s challenges, those things that are not really important have a tendency to be left behind. And I am left with what is most important; faith and dependence on God.

Praise, Glory, and Honor

The proven genuineness of my faith will ultimately result in praise, glory, and honor. The question here is for who. Who will receive praise, glory, and honor? On the one hand, you might see it as the faithful believer. In the parable of the talents (Matt. 25:14-30), the faithful servants are honored at the master’s return because of their faithfulness.

But you might also see this as praise, glory, and honor that is given to Jesus upon his return. He alone is worthy of praise. And our faithfulness points to what he has done in our lives, giving us new birth, and enabling us to live godly and holy lives. When we look at a masterpiece, we might praise it for how wonderful it is. But the real praise goes to the one who produced that work of art. In the same way, we might receive some honor and glory for a faithful life. But it is really pointing back to the one who made us.

And I think that points back to another reason that we can rejoice in our trials. Through them, we can bring glory to our Lord and Savior. When we endure with patience and reliance on God, we demonstrate our faith before the world and glorify our Father above.

An Inexpressible and Glorious Joy

Peter is writing to people who had never seen Jesus. They had only been told about him. And yet they loved him and believed in him. This is much the same situation that we face today. I have never seen Jesus. Have never talked with him, and have never been able to sit at his feet and listen to him teach. Nor has anyone alive today. And yet we, like Peter’s original audience, can believe in him and love him.

But they did not just love and believe in Jesus. They were also filled with joy. And not just a little joy. They were filled with glorious and inexpressible joy. A joy beyond anything that this world would be capable of producing. What produced this joy in them? It seems to be directly related to their belief in Christ. Their belief was not just at an intellectual level. But it was a belief that transformed them. They knew the resurrected messiah and took great joy in his presence.

Receiving the End Result

Not only had they encountered the resurrected Jesus, but they were also receiving the ultimate result of their faith. That result was the salvation of their souls. In 1 Peter 1:5, Peter looks ahead to their salvation; a salvation that was waiting to be revealed. But here he seems to be looking at something that is in the present, not the future. They were receiving salvation.

Salvation is not just the beginning of our journey of faith, although that is most often how we use the term. Nor does including the final salvation we look for fully describe salvation. Salvation also includes what is happening to us now. It is the transformation of our lives during our journey of faith with Christ.

The joy these believers were experiencing was not just because of the presence of Christ. And it was more than the expectation of their final salvation. Their joy was enhanced because they could see the work the Holy Spirit was doing in them. They were not the same as they had been prior to coming to Christ. They were being transformed and took delight in that.

Take Aways

  • How much joy is in your life today? Is it a glorious and inexpressible joy? Or something less?
  • How might you come to experience greater joy in your life?
  • What is your attitude toward the trials you face in this life? And to the trials you face as a believer?
  • Is God being glorified in your life, and in your response to the challenges you face as a believer?
  • Peter’s challenge to us is to rejoice in our trials. Not because they are enjoyable. But because we can trust that God will use these challenges in our development toward maturity and godliness.
  • The refiner’s fire, or the carpenter’s sandpaper, is unpleasant to what is being worked. And yet it is necessary to produce a final product that is worthy of honor. So our trials are necessary to produce the person that God is ultimately shaping us to become. Learn to take the long-range view and rejoice in your trials.

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Ed Jarrett

Just an old clay jar that God continues to see fit to use in his kingdom's work. I am retired, married with 2 children, and 4 grandchildren. I have followed Jesus for many years. And I love to share what He has given me from His word.

A Note to Readers

The views expressed here are solely mine and do not necessarily reflect those of any other person, group, or organization. While I believe they reflect the teachings of the Bible, I am a fallible human and subject to misunderstanding. Please feel free to leave any comments or questions about this post in the comments section below. I am always interested in your feedback.

3 thoughts on “1 Peter: Glorious Joy, In All Kinds of Trials (1:6-9)”

  1. I have been reading through 1 Peter for at least 2 months now, and still on the first 2 chapters.
    Joy is most definitely a gift the Holy Spirit has pressed upon me. My household has seen much trials. Each time you think it can’t get much worse it does.
    Just the last 5 years, I lost my husband to a terrible illness, my oldest child at the same time almost died from septic shock. ( he has already had 2 brain surgeries for brain tumor, shattered femor, femoral, and ankle and so much more) . I had to take guardianship over a niece with serious mental illness, ( God is good and she is well). I took in my mom and cared for her until she passed away 2 years ago.
    I had to have emergency back surgery 2 years ago, list my career because of damage.
    then this June I went into hypoxic respiratory failure and now living on oxygen. ( so much more in-between) I have no idea how I will survive at this moment financially..
    I say all this because through every step, God has been there. He has provided through every illness, comfort, financially, miraculously, and He has kept the joy alive in me.
    People ask me so often why I can still smile? How I can keep going?
    my explanation is always God has given me in inexpressible joy that can not be explained. that can only come from God. We can rejoice in all our trials, because we know that He will carry us through each one in most surprising ways sometimes.
    I know who holds my future and I know who holds my hand.


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