1 Peter 1:6 “In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials,”
Peter, after his short introduction to the ‘elect exiles’, talks about the living hope we have because of the work and person of Jesus. He says, “According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time!.” (1 Peter 1:3-5). What a beautiful thought in those first couple of verse! That we have new life, born to it because of Jesus going to the cross, dying and being resurrected from the dead! Because Jesus did this, we have salvation, an inheritance that is pure, and forever kept by God’s power by the faith we have in him! Friends, what a marvelous hope!
Peter calls us to rejoice in this! Rejoice! You have an eternal inheritance, a living hope, a resurrected Lord who has defeated death! You have been born again! Some of us have gotten so caught up in our lives, our unfavorable circumstances and we’ve stopped rejoicing. “Will! How can I rejoice in this? We’re in a pandemic, people are losing their jobs, people are dying, people are struggling with their mental health! How can you call us to be rejoicing?”
Let me be clear. In this, we must remember that Peter is writing this letter to Christians in the Roman Empire who are being persecuted by others and the government for their faith. They were the scapegoats for the perpetrators who started the fires of Rome. Christians reading this letter when it first came out are being tarred, light on fire, dragged behind roman chariots and being fed to the lions in the colosseum! How could Peter’s primary readers rejoice then?
It’s because Peter knows something we don’t. Peter knows we have an eternal inheritance, not a temporary one. Peter knows that even though you may be struggling in your life, it’s, as verse 6 says, “for a little while”. Your suffering is real and it’s painful and it may be very present and very consuming. However, compared to the eternal inheritance and the living hope you have through the work of Jesus, Peter is right to say, it is indeed small.
You may be going through some very tough things at the moment. You may be struggling mightily. But Peter is ultimately right when he says, its for a little while. We are only here in our broken flesh for so long. Some of us will be here for an even shorter time than others. Some may only have 20 years while others may live to be 100. But in the large scheme of things, our lives are like the grass that is here today and gone tomorrow. We live very short lives.
And that life may be brutal. It may be filled with brokenness and sinfulness and pain and suffering. But Christ has given you so much more. He has secured for you something that will last forever through the few years that you may suffer. So friends, rejoice because Christ has won the battle over pain and suffering. One day he will wipe away every tear and make right everything that has gone wrong. Christ ultimately wins, not just over death, but every pain you’ve suffered and one day there will no longer be suffering. Because of that we praise his name and we rejoice!
Parkland Community Church:
We Exist to Develop People Who Love Jesus and Serve Others.