1 Peter – Chapter One XXV

by Ed Urzi

“You rejoice in this, though now for a short time you have had to struggle in various trials (1 Peter 1:6 HCSB).

In addition to what we read here in 1 Peter 1:6, the New Testament book of 2 Corinthians encourages us to adopt a constructive attitude toward the hardships and afflictions we face in life…

“For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal” (2 Corinthians 4:17-18).

We can view the problems and troubles we experience as “light and momentary afflictions” if we seek to view them from an eternal perspective. If we weigh those trials on the scale of eternity and measure them against the future that God has prepared for us, can find value and comfort in the midst of our circumstances. The sufferings, persecutions, indignities, and hardships we endure for Christ now are relatively insignificant when compared to the eternal glory to follow.

Thus, we should focus our attention upon the eternal life that awaits us, even as we endure the trials that accompany our lives today. To borrow a phrase from the New Testament epistle of James, such things are like “…a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away” (James 4:14) when viewed in the light of eternity.

We’ll consider this aspect of 1 Peter 1:6 at greater length in our next study. But before we continue, let’s first define the nature of a “trial” as Peter uses it here in the passage quoted above. This reference to “various trials” involves “a putting to the proof” in the original language of this passage. (1) When used in this context, a trial refers to the act of putting someone to the test in a manner that demonstrates the existence of things like virtue, integrity, the validity of one’s faith, and other, similar qualities.

Such trials may take the form of a physical ailment, a financial concern, an interpersonal difficulty, an act of persecution, or any number of other things. God, in His sovereignty, may permit these things to enter our lives “if need be (KJV), and in the words of one commentary, “One need not invite or lay a cross on himself, but only ‘take up’ the cross which God imposes.” (2)

(1) G3986 peirasmos https://www.billmounce.com/greek-dictionary/peirasmos

(2) Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. “Commentary on 1 Peter 1”. “Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible”. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/jfb/1-peter-1.html. 1871-8.