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.
“In this you rejoice…”
The first task was to determine to what the “this” in this passage refers. It seems to be the inheritance / salvation for which we are being guarded through faith by the power of God (v.5). Ultimately, the inheritance and salvation of the believer is God Himself in the person of Jesus Christ, as I believe verses 7-9 explain (see also John 14:3,17:24; Ephesians 2:7).
So, Christians rejoice in the hope of knowing and loving God in Jesus Christ. Because of this I drew the picture so that the suffering saint’s eyes were toward Christ. In the midst of trial, the sure hope of sharing in the intimate fellowship of our God in Christ is our source of endurance.
“…though now for a little while if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, 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.”
According to Peter (and the rest of scripture) fiery hardships are lovingly and wisely ordained by God for His people. In this instance, Peter focuses on the faith-testing element of trial, which – as fire refines gold – refines and purifies the Christian’s faith in Christ. The final goal of this testing is so that the believer’s faith “may be found to result in praise and glory and honor.” I think that this is praise and glory and honor to God, not to the Christian. Why do I say this? Because verse 5 says that it is by GOD’s power that Christians are being guarded through faith….so we are kept from falling away because our faith endures….but how does our faith endure? “by God’s power.”
God is the one who gives and sustains faith, therefore, when we arrive at the end of a life of trials and our faith is glittering like purified gold, the purity and beauty of that faith will be a witness to HIS glory and power, not ours….He will get the glory for our faith, we will get the infinite joy of our inheritance in Him.
So, to show this, I had the man clinging to Christ (God’s sovereignty over our faith does not mean that we do not cling with desperation to Him!), but I represented Christ as holding the man’s hand with both of his own…..and one of the Lord’s hands is, in fact, holding the man’s hand tight, keeping it from losing it’s grip. Also, the believer’s arm is glowing like burnished gold to show the purifying effects of trial.
Lastly, I highlighted the wounds on Christ’s hands (the very hands enabling the Christian’s faith to endure) and had his garments torn in the fires just like the man’s garments because – as 1 Peter makes abundantly clear – HE suffered for us. In the midnight of suffering, the Christian has unshakable confidence in glory’s dawn ONLY BECAUSE Christ our Lord suffered in our place and entered into His glory….His victorious suffering enables us to follow Him on the cruciform path of trial-bearing love that leads invincibly to glory.