“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.” (1 Peter 1:6-7)
The Apostle Peter wrote this epistle to encourage Christians who were enduring persecution. He was writing from Rome, which he called Babylon, to believers living in the provinces of Asia Minor, now modern Turkey. He wanted to encourage them in the midst of their trials. He reminding them that they had been greatly blessed. They were members of the Church of Christ Jesus which was and is the focal point of God’s plan of salvation. The prophets foretold of its coming and the angels observed it with gladness. In the Church God has created for Himself a new people. That is why Peter told them they have been born again.
Believers have been granted a new life, no longer in slavery to sin. They ought to rejoice for those in Christ Jesus are assured that they share in His Kingdom. This great inheritance of salvation is so much more precious than any material thing including gold and silver. It is a spiritual inheritance that will never pass away. There is nothing we would trade for it for nothing can compare with is value and excellence. And yet our sufferings may give many of us cause to be tempted to do just that, to doubt, lose heart, to turn to sinful and worldly ways. And so Peter exhorts us to persevere. In the light of the fact that we possess such a precious salvation, we ought to hold on to our faith in spite of persecution and loss. After all, we are guaranteed eternal life, no matter what the world may say or do to us. Through the grace of God, believers are called to behave with holiness, charity, unselfishness and godliness in the face of temptation and loss. We are called to persevere in our faith in the midst of a culture that is growing increasingly hostile to Christianity. Only our faith and trust in the Lord can enable us to do so.