All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. It is by his great mercy that we have been born again, because God raised Jesus Christ from the dead. Now we live with great expectation, and we have a priceless inheritance—an inheritance that is kept in heaven for you, pure and undefiled, beyond the reach of change and decay. And through your faith, God is protecting you by his power until you receive this salvation, which is ready to be revealed on the last day for all to see. So be truly glad. There is wonderful joy ahead, even though you must endure many trials for a little while.
These trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold—though your faith is far more precious than mere gold. So when your faith remains strong through many trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world.
You love him even though you have never seen him. Though you do not see him now, you trust him; and you rejoice with a glorious, inexpressible joy. The reward for trusting him will be the salvation of your souls.
This salvation was something even the prophets wanted to know more about when they prophesied about this gracious salvation prepared for you. They wondered what time or situation the Spirit of Christ within them was talking about when he told them in advance about Christ’s suffering and his great glory afterward.
They were told that their messages were not for themselves, but for you. And now this Good News has been announced to you by those who preached in the power of the Holy Spirit sent from heaven. It is all so wonderful that even the angels are eagerly watching these things happen.
~ 1 Peter 1:3-12
The first passage for today is kinda long, but a couple things about verse 8 in particular stuck out to me. The first thing I notice, is that my physical Bible and the verses on YouVersion are slightly different, even though they are both from the New Living Translation (NLT). I noted the differences in bold:
My physical Bible says…
“You love him even though you have never seen him. Though you do not see him, you trust him; and even now you are happy with a glorious, inexpressible joy.”
while YouVersion says…
“You love him even though you have never seen him. Though you do not see him now, you trust him; and you rejoice with a glorious, inexpressible joy.”
When I read my physical Bible, my reaction was that even though we can’t physically interact with Christ we are still thankful and happy to know Him, even beyond our own means of expression. When I read the YouVersion however, the “now” stuck out. That one word shows me a promise that one day we will see Him, and that promise is what makes us rejoice, the knowing that one day we will meet face to face.
Another verse that always sticks out to me is the first part of verse 7…
“These trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold…”
Every time I read about being purified like gold, I wonder….how exactly is gold purified? What’s the process? After a quick Google search which led to an article on ehow.com, I learned that at some point or another – whether the ore is low or high grade - it will be doused with cyanide. And another website reveals that gold melts at 1947.9741° Fahrenheit/1064.43° Celsius.
Now, who in their right mind would choose to be poisoned and burned at an unimaginable heat? Water boils at 212° Fahrenheit/99.98° Celsius and if you touch boiling water you will be in pain for a while and regret it. Imagine a temperature more than 9 times that of boiling water. Who would ask for that? But leading into our next verse, that is exactly what we do, we accept that we will emotionally and spiritually be going through that.
“For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God. So you have not received a spirit that makes you fearful slaves. Instead, you received God’s Spirit when he adopted you as his own children. Now we call him, “Abba, Father.” For his Spirit joins with our spirit to affirm that we are God’s children. And since we are his children, we are his heirs. In fact, together with Christ we are heirs of God’s glory. But if we are to share his glory, we must also share his suffering.” ~ Romans 8:14-17
In the very last sentence it states that this is to be expected. The promises of salvation from spiritual death, blessings from being part of the family of Christ, inexplicable peace and joy, these are given to us but there is a cost. Just as there are two sides to every coin, there will be pain and troubles when we make that choice.
This shouldn’t surprise us, really. After all, when a child is born it is usually the most joyful and painful time in the mother’s life. When a patient is finally finished with their physical therapy it is a glad day, but it took many painful days to get there.
This choice to follow Christ and live our lives as an imitation of Him is not something to be done on a whim. Yes, He gives us grace and blessings…yes He will mature us into a better person than we could ever be on our own, but it’s not without struggle and lessons. You don’t get to move up in any grade without being tested, why would the biggest decision in our life be any different?
There will be troubles, we might feel ourselves disintegrating into nothing, but think of the glorious something new we will become afterwards. It’s worth it.