In his first letter Peter writes to people facing significant pain. He wastes no time in bringing perspective to the pain we all experience in this life.
“In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, as was 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)
He reminds us our suffering is …
- Passing – “now for a little while” (v.6a)
- Purposeful – “as was necessary … so that the tested genuineness of your faith … may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ” (vv.6b, 7a, c)
- Painful – “you have been grieved by various trials” (v.6c)
This proves that an accurate perspective has a wide enough view to acknowledge both the reality and gravity of pain, and yet also embrace the hope of God’s grace. Indeed, by God’s wonderful grace Peter affirms that we share in, experience, and anticipate the fullness of a salvation which 1) prophets searched for, inquired into, and longed to understand (v.10-12a) and which 2) angels “long to look” into (v.12b)!