“In this you rejoice, even if now for a little while you have had to suffer various trials” – 1 Peter 1:6
Joy in suffering.
Throughout church history, Christians rejoiced. In good times and in bad times. Through tribulation and persecution, through disease and death, through famines and wars, Christians rejoiced.
It wasn’t that Christians were immune from suffering and trials. The incredible reality is that Christians rejoiced even in the face of suffering, tribulation, and trials.
How is that possible?
The key is the phrase “In this.” In what? What’s the secret?
1 Peter 1:3-5 tells us the content of “In this”:
“Blessed be the God and the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! By his great mercy he has given us a new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who are being protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.”
The promise of the resurrection and inheritance of eternal life changed everything for the Christians. There was no persecution, no amount of suffering, no hardship, not even the threat of death that could take away the promises of the resurrection. Christ purchased for Christians an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading. This gift was purchased through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. This resurrection reality changed everything for the Christian.
In our days of global pandemic, what is our hope? What is our strength? To live a few more days? years? No. Our hope is Jesus Christ. Our strength is in the promise of the resurrection. The gift of eternal life is a gift no one, no-thing, can ever take away from Christians.
In this – the power of the resurrection – we rejoice, even if now for a little while we have to suffer various trials.
It is fitting that we are currently preparing for Holy Week. This Easter is going to rock! We are people of the resurrection. Easter changes everything!
“In this you rejoice, even if now for a little while you have had to suffer various trials.”