1 Peter 1:6-9 ESV
“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. Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls.”
God’s Holy People
These remarks are addressed to those who are God’s chosen ones, those who have put their faith and trust in Jesus Christ to be Lord and Savior of their lives. We are God’s called out ones. We are called to be his holy people to live lives which are separate (unlike, different) from the world because we are being conformed to the likeness of Jesus Christ. And we are those who are to be living holy lives in all our conduct in obedience to Jesus Christ.
We who are believing in Jesus Christ with God-given faith, which dies with Christ to sin and lives to him and to his righteousness, have the promise and the hope of salvation from our bondage (slavery, addiction) to sin and of eternal life with God, and of heaven as our eternal destiny. One day Jesus is going to return for his bride and he will take those who loved and obeyed him to be with him for eternity at which time our salvation will be complete.
[Rom 1:6-7; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-29; Rom 12:1-2; 1 Co 1:9; 1 Co 3:17; 1 Co 6:19-20; 2 Co 5:15,21; Gal 5:13-21; Eph 1:3-4; Eph 2:10,21; Eph 5:27; Col 1:22; Col 3:12; 1 Thess 4:7; 2 Tim 1:8-9; 2 Tim 2:21; 1 Pet 1:13-16; 1 Pet 2:5-9,24; 2 Pet 1:3; Tit 2:11-14; Lu 9:23-26; Eph 4:17-24; 1 Jn 2:3-6]
Jesus Christ promised all his followers (his disciples) that if we are following him in his ways and in his truth, and if we are being like him in thought and in deed, if we are making it our practice to obey his commands and to live holy and righteous lives, in his power, that we will be hated and persecuted as he was hated and persecuted. Especially if we are sharing the truth of the gospel and if we are exposing the fruitless deeds of darkness, it will be so.
But it isn’t just being hated and persecuted for his sake and for the sake of the gospel and for the sake of righteousness that he promised us. Jesus and the New Testament apostles told us that in this life we are going to have trials and tribulations. We are going to suffer in many different ways but that these are for our good to teach us perseverance, endurance, reliance upon God and not on self, and to mature us in Christ and to make us holy.
[Matt 5:10-12; Matt 10:16-25; Matt 24:9-14; Lu 6:22-23; Lu 21:12-19; John 15:1-21; Jn 16:33; Ac 14:22; Rom 5:3-5; Phil 3:7-11; 1 Pet 1:6-7; 1 Pet 4:12-17; 1 Thess 3:1-5; Jas 1:2-4; 2 Co 1:3-11; Heb 12:3-12]
Rejoicing in our suffering, in persecutions, in heartaches, in physical pain, and in unjust treatments is not an easy thing to do, but it is not an impossible thing to do. And it doesn’t mean that we can’t have tears streaming down our cheeks at the same time we are thanking the Lord for what he is doing in our lives in making us more like Jesus. We can, for Jesus endured the cross for the joy that was set before him, and he felt pain.
I try to make it my practice when I am going through trying times and through physical suffering to keep reminding myself of God’s sovereignty over my life. God is absolutely still in control over all things. He is in control over all critters, over the wind, the rain, the storms, lightning, thunder, our enemies, evildoers, and people who plot evil against us. So nothing will come into our lives if God does not allow it to come into our lives.
Now, this does not mean that God is the author of evil. He is not. It does not mean that he approves of evil. He does not. But he allows evil people to do evil things even to the ones he loves. Look at the examples of Jesus and of the New Testament apostles, the prophets, John the Baptist, and many other saints who have gone before us who have been martyred for their Christian faith and practice. We who follow Jesus are not promised ease.
I also try to keep uppermost on my mind that God has a purpose in what he is allowing me to go through. It does not make it less painful, mind you, but it helps knowing that these things are not just happening to me by happenstance and that they do serve a purpose. And it helps to know that the purpose is for my good. And one of those is to test the genuineness of my faith, that it may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.
So, what that is saying is that these trials and tribulations help us to mature in our walks of faith, if we respond to them as we should. They help to mold and to shape us into the likeness of Jesus Christ. They work to prune us of wrong attitudes or wrong thinking or acting so that we may be more fruitful for God’s eternal kingdom. They definitely humble us if we respond to them in the right way. And they train us in holy living for the glory of God.
The Outcome of our Faith
I want us to pay close attention to the wording here. To be good students of the Scriptures we must pay attention to the wording and to word tenses, because the words are chosen carefully for a purpose. So we can’t just gloss over these words, for many people who do miss some very important truths, and many of them end up believing in false doctrines of salvation.
In verse 5 (not quoted above) it says, “who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.” And then in verse 9 we read, “obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls.” And then compare that with what we just talked about how the tested genuiness of our faith may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.
We don’t just “get saved” and now all our sins are forgiven and heaven is our eternal destiny regardless of how we live our lives on this earth. We are saved (past), we are being saved (present, active), and we will be saved (future) when Jesus returns and he takes his bride to be with him. Then our salvation will be complete, and not until then, but provided that we walk according to the Spirit in obedience to our Lord and that we don’t walk according to the flesh in deliberate and habitual sin against God.
Jesus said that not everyone who says to him, “Lord, Lord,” will enter into the kingdom of heaven but only the one DOING the will of God the Father who is in heaven. He also said that to come after him we must deny self, take up our cross daily (die daily to sin and to self) and follow (obey) him. And then we have many Scriptures that teach us that if we walk in sin we will die in our sins, and that if sin is our practice, and if obedience to our Lord and righteousness are not our practice, we don’t have eternal life.
So, these promises of God are contingent upon the conditions that our Lord laid down for us. For we are all going to be judged by what we do in this life and if we live to please the flesh, we will die, but if we live to please the Spirit, then we will live. So if you want eternal life with God you must die to sin and live to God and to his righteousness in the power of God.
[Lu 9:23-26; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17; Eph 4:17-24; 1 Pet 2:24; 1 Co 6:9-10,19-20; 2 Co 5:10,15,21; Tit 2:11-14; Rom 12:1-2; Col 3:5-10; Gal 5:16-21; Eph 5:3-11; Gal 6:7-8; Rom 2:6-8; Heb 10:26-27; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6; 1 Jn 3:4-10; Matt 7:21-23; Rev 21:8,27; Rev 22:14-15; Eph 2:8-10; Heb 12:1-2; Jn 6:44; 2 Pet 1:1; Rom 8:24; Rom 13:11; 1 Co 1:18; Ac 26:18]
Dwelling In Beulah Land
By Miles C Austin (1911)
Far away the noise of strife upon my ear is falling;
Then I know the sins of earth beset on every hand;
Doubt and fear and things of earth in vain to me are calling;
None of these shall move me from Beulah Land.
Far below the storm of doubt upon the world is beating,
Sons of men in battle long the enemy withstand;
Safe am I within the castle of God’s word retreating,
Nothing there can reach me, ’tis Beulah Land.
Let the stormy breezes blow, their cry cannot alarm me;
I am safely sheltered here, protected by God’s hand;
Here the sun is always shining, nothing there can harm me;
I am safe forever in Beulah Land.
Viewing here the works of God, I sink in contemplation;
Hearing now His blessed voice, I see the way He planned;
Dwelling in the Spirit, here I learn of full salvation,
Gladly I will tarry in Beulah Land.
I’m living on the mountain, underneath a cloudless sky,
I’m drinking at the fountain that never shall run dry;
Oh, yes! I’m feasting on the manna from a bountiful supply,
For I am dwelling in Beulah Land.
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