1 Peter 1:6-9
In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith – of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire – may result in praise, glory, and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. Though you have not seen Him, you love Him, and even though you do not see Him now, you believe in Him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls.
I have heard our present age described as an engagement period. Jesus entered history to offer His body and blood to make a new covenant between God and humanity. All of us who have placed our faith in Him and His sacrificial work, have received His engagement ring: We have been “sealed with the promised Holy Spirit who is the pledge of our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession, to the praise of His glory.” (Eph 1:13-14) With that promise, He tells us that His love is eternal and that He will return so that we can be with Him – seeing our Savior face to face, dwelling in the house of the Lord all our days.
Until that time comes, this passage in 1 Peter reminds us that even as we suffer grief in all kinds of trials, these trials are our opportunity to express our love back to our Lord Jesus with obedience and faith. As we choose to love Him above the physical, self gratifying comforts and rewards of this earth, our hearts beat with love for Him above all else. When we choose to labor for His Kingdom and share His love with others, we are proclaiming that knowing Him is the greatest gift ever! When we persevere in faith through what we cannot understand, we declare the sovereignty, unchanging love, and goodness of our God who is for us, and not against us. Peter tells us that our faith is more precious than the purest gold, because contrary to that gold, our faith never perishes, and our faith will bring Jesus praise, glory and honor when He returns for His bride.
So we await our Bridegroom’s return. Our eyes have not seen Him, but our hearts know that we have indeed come into a relationship with Him. He has pursued us, wooed us, and His love displayed on the cross has transformed us. We wait to see Him face to face, but He is never far from us. In all things, we can rejoice, because our hope remains for the day when we, the faithful ones, will be His beloved bride! “And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.” (Rom 5:5)
The GRC Children’s Ministry is also providing a family Lenten Devotional which is available here.
Note: Each day’s devotional is written by a different member of the GRC family.