Trials by Fire
Previously, we studied our secure hope in Heaven. In this post we will be looking at verses 6 thru 9. The main focus looks at how like metal tested by fire is refined, likewise we are tested in our trials.
Peter continues by telling us to rejoice in the truth of our hope in Heaven kept by God. Even if we become “distressed by various trials.” Some things are worthy to note. First, trials are but for a short time. Second, they might be necessary. Third, there are plenty of trials. Then Peter says we are to still rejoice. Also, he seems to be using similar language to James (See James 1:1-4).
Peter speaks volumes of truth in this verse. He says the proof (or genuineness) of our faith is tested by how we respond by trials. Peter reminds us how our faith is not perishable. It will not perish like gold (or your 401(k)) because our faith is in Jesus. It will be tested by fire, but should “result in praise and glory and honor.” Again, see James chapter 1.
Peter then describes the object of our faith: Jesus. The people Peter wrote to in Rome most likely have not seen the risen Christ, and neither have we. But we live Him, and believe in Him. Even though the trials are by fire, we hope in Him. Jesus tells Thomas after Jesus rose from the dead about how we who believe without seeing are blessed (John 20:29). Peter tell us we are expected to rejoice with joy and full of glory (that is full of praise).
In this verse, Peter concludes the outcome of trials. He almost seems to suggest that our salvation is from our perseverance. But we must remember how our faith is a gift from God (Eph 2:8). In a sense, our response to fiery trials will show if our salvation is genuine. So if we do remain in the faith under trials, our faith will secure us.
Trials will come. It is part of being a Christian. The early church knew this in Rome when Peter wrote the letter to them. We see this overseas with our persecuted brothers and sisters. But we in the church are to respond by rejoicing in our trial by fire. God sends these trials to refine us. But if we melt under them, we might not be saved, or need to have a better understanding of the truth of the Bible. So when God sends trials, they are to test our faith.
Next post we shall look at our great salvation in 1 Peter 1:10-12.