December 2

1 Peter 1:6-8 6In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. 7These have come so that your faith–of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire–may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. 8Though 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,

Peter is expressing the paradox of the Christian life. We have a glorious inheritance ahead of us. Until we get there, we are kept by the power of God. He says that this causes us to rejoice greatly. If you aren't rejoicing greatly, you haven't seen the wonder of what lies before us, or you haven't seen His power that is keeping us until we get there. Joy should be the distinguishing characteristic of every Christian.

The paradox is that the journey is full of trials. Those trials cause grief, but they also accomplish a purpose. They prove our faith, like precious metal is purified by fire. They burn out the impurities of our worldly ideas and misguided doctrines.

So how are we supposed to be joyful in those painful trials that cause us grief? We see they are serving a purpose. We see our faith growing stronger and purer. We look forward with eyes of faith to our Savior's glorious return and realize that it is worth it. To hear His, "Well done!" will be more than worth it. As we envision that day and the heart of our Savior who is shaping us for that day, we are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, even as we endure the grief of these momentary trials.

Consider: You are probably in a trial, coming out of one, or going into one. Good! It will refine and test your faith so that you can hear Jesus say, "Well done, good and faithful servant!" (Matthew 25:21a) Look to that day with eyes of faith and be filled with inexpressible and glorious joy.