I Peter 1:6 Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations:
7 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:
8 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:
9 Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls.
We are now in the last day of November, 2023. Time is flying by. Things are very busy on the home front as well as abroad. Unrest is increasing, and unity is increasing in Canada in a completely different way than the government would like. Then on the other hand, one of the ways that the devil likes to work is to create chaos and instability and then move in with his agenda. Of course none of this is apart from God’s supervision. He is in charge and He is permitting the chaos to build due to the universal rejection of the true God. Those who are born again need to keep their eye on the heavens, and also keep an eye on the Middle East.
The apostle Peter lived in a time of great instability as well. The Roman government was not the friend of the truth. The Judaizers had a friendly relationship with the Roman government. The Judaizers would have liked to get out from under Roman rule and into independent rule, but under the circumstances they would work with the system and together with the Roman government, they would try to limit the proclamation of the truth. In the midst of this, God was making a way for the truth to be both proclaimed verbally and in written form.
The strangers that Peter was addressing had a lively hope. They knew the truth and they knew there was a cost to living in the truth. However, that cost was minor compared to the blessings of being saved. In verse 6 we read that the saints greatly rejoiced. There is an inner joy that the true child of God has. We also read, there was outward pressure that they had to contend with, but they had this eternal hope that gave them the reason to greatly rejoice. In our world today, many people are still struggling with the after effects of the past 3 years. Young people were hit hard by the wickedness of adults who had an agenda and others who were not grounded in truth and thus had no way of countering the evil agenda of the elite. There are still many who are struggling with the experiences of the past few years. People are also quite confused. Some are still wearing masks. We were driving just recently and a car came past us and the driver was wearing a mask. Talk about nonsense. Sitting in a vehicle by themselves and wearing a mask. That is the result of not knowing the truth.
Peter acknowledged that the saints were in heaviness through manifold temptations. They were being tested in various ways.
In verse 7 Peter acknowledged the trial of their faith. It was their faith that was more precious than gold that perisheth. It is important to have our faith tested to be sure that it is genuine. We can sometimes hold on to things that are just traditions of man and we need to get to the place where our faith is more genuine.
The trying of our faith can be as if tried by fire. It can be quite intense. When the true child of God is tested, it will drive him to draw nigh to God. It will drive him more into God’s Word and it will cause him to stand more firmly on the truth.
The end result of this trial is to be found unto the praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ. In Ephesians 5 Paul wrote of the Lord Jesus Christ looking forward to being able to present His saints to His Father without spot or blemish. There is a need for purifying in our lives here on this earth. Those who are saved need to cast off the imaginary things and build on the truth. II Corinthians 10 also reminds us of this.
In verse 8 God reminds us that we have not seen Jesus Christ. Peter was much closer to the ascension of the Lord Jesus Christ than we are. There are too many people today who claim to have seen Jesus. There are thousands of corrupt pictures of Jesus. Too many people depend on those pictures for their spiritual wellbeing.
Some of those first recipients of Peter’s letter were present when Jesus was on earth. However others were not. Peter is speaking here of the love that we have for the Lord Jesus Christ even though we have not seen Him. We know He is real. We know He is the only Saviour. We believe in the God Who declares the coming and work of the Lord Jesus Christ. Again we are reminded of that joy that is reserved for those who truly trust in the Lord. It is a joy that cannot be fully described. It is a joy that can be known in a personal way. It is a joy that others can witness and a few will be drawn to the truth as they observe the evidence of that joy in the true saints.
In verse 9 we see that the day is coming when we will receive the promise of the salvation of our souls. This is the “end of your faith.” Salvation is something we receive by faith. We trust in the work of the Lord Jesus Christ in dying on the cross and shedding His blood there. We know He was buried and that He rose again victorious over sin and death on the third day. We accept these truths by faith. We know that His sacrificial death, burial and resurrection are the foundation of our salvation. We know Jesus Christ is seated on the right hand of His Father in glory now. We know that soon He will be coming back in the clouds to receive all the New Testament saints out of this world. We are not told what type of a cloud that will be. We know His coming will also be announced with the sound of the trumpet. Those who are saved will hear that trumpet and will be gone in a moment. There will be no time to pack a bag. There will be no need to pack a bag. There will be no time to make some quick “goodbyes”. We will be removed from this earth quickly. It will be a blessed day for the saved and a terrible day for those who are not saved.
Peter was directed to encourage the saints here. The trial of our faith is minor compared to the anticipation of the final fulfilment of the salvation of our souls. Salvation is a gift that every repentant sinner receives at the moment of turning to God and trusting in the Lord Jesus Christ. However, until we leave this sin-cursed earth and enter heaven, we still need to contend with those trials of our faith. We do not complain about that. We are thankful that we can be purified so that we can glorify our God and Saviour more fully and also so that we can give a clearer picture of the blessings of salvation to others that are watching us.