So be truly glad. There is wonderful joy ahead, even though you must endure many trials for a little while.
1 Peter 1:6 NLT
There’s a word in this verse that is challenging . . . the word “must”. Peter tells us that we “must endure many trials for a little while”. Why? Elizabeth Elliott wrote, “I am not a theologian or a scholar, but I am very aware of the fact that pain is necessary to all of us. In my own life, I think I can honestly say that out of the deepest pain has come the strongest conviction of the presence of God and the love of God.”
We find grace in our grieving. We find mercy in our mess.
The Response. Peter tells us to be “truly glad.” A heart felt response of praise gives us a hopeful reason in our pain. James reminds us, “Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness.” (Jam 1:2-3 ESV). Being steadfast means we are solid even in our struggles. In our chaos and conflict we are confident that God is in control.
The Reason. Peter reminds us that there is a purpose for our pain. He writes, “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.” (1 Peter 1:7 NLT). Our trust in God’s compassion, God’s care and God’s control is tried and true in our trials. There is also hope that happens from our hurt. Paul reminds us, “For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us”. (Rom 8:18 ESV)
The Resolve. We know that “there is wonderful joy ahead.” (1 Pet 1:6). There is a beauty that is born from our burdens. Elizabeth Kubler-Ross wrote, “The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen.”
Our pain may be prevalent, but it is not permanent. C. S. Lewis writes, “God, who foresaw your tribulation, has specially armed you to go through it, not without pain but without stain.”
Pain and injury often leave a scar that reminds us that we suffered, but also that we survived. Tom Paterson said, “You never get over it, but, you will get through it.”
Struggling? Suffering? Shaken? Strive to survive and “be truly glad because there is a wonderful day ahead.”