Suffering Glorifies Christ
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. (1 Peter 1:6-7)
In the book of 1 Peter, the apostle is writing this letter to Christians who have been persecuted and are suffering for their faith. They have had to flee from their home cities and so he addresses them as the “elect exiles of the dispersion in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia” (1:1). But whether we are experiencing suffering for our faith or simply because we live in a fallen world and thus are experiencing the suffering of pain, disease, death of a loved one, financial ruin or anything else, suffering is never easy and always unpleasant. Yet one benefit from suffering is that it vindicates and fortifies our faith. This is the point Peter is hoping to get his readers to see when he writes, “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” (vv.6-7). Peter encourages them to rejoice in their suffering because when the genuineness of their faith is tested by fire and shown to be pure and true, it will “result in praise and glory and honor” to Christ. Thus, when God brings us through difficult times, when he brings us through suffering, and we cling to Christ and remain faithful and true to him, and we do not abandon him, and he brings us through on the other side, the result is twofold: (1) it proves the “genuineness of your faith” and shows that you truly belong to God, and (2) it brings “praise and glory and honor” to Christ by showing to the world that God is real and faithful and true.
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