1 Peter 1:7-8
[7] That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:
[8] Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory:


There are many things to be sought in life. Many of the things that we seek are necessities. We all want to be comfortable. We want food, clothing, and shelter; these are considered the necessities of life. However, that is not where our desires wrest. We don’t just want food; we want good food. We don’t just want clothes, we want Good clothes. We don’t just want shelter, we want good shelter.

The idea here isn’t that our desires are satisfied with the bare minimum standards of acquiring food, clothing, and shelter, but that its quality exceeds that of just the minimum and that they are at a level that brings us joy. (A hamburger will fill you up but a steak will turn the meal into a special occasion. Wal-Mart has clothes but Nordstrom’s clothes make you feel better about yourself. A tent will give you shelter but a house makes you feel like you’ve got somewhere real to live.) The thing that distinguishes between bare necessities and your desires is the level of joy that is experienced between the two.

With this thought in mind I would like to offer this reasonable deduction to you: The chief motivation for the things that are sought in life is the amount of joy that they bring.

The education and skill that we acquire in life is done with the ultimate goal that they will be a vehicle that will take us to joy. Marriage and families come about because of an anticipation of the joy that they will bring. The kind of house, car, or any other material possession are bought and paid for in the hopes that they will bring joy.

The reason that this quest for joy seems to be an ever ongoing one is that there is an absence of permanency and material things only offer joy for a little while. That is because of the changeable nature of material things. (You can buy the biggest and best steak in town and once you have eaten it in a few hours you’re hungry again. Buy the most expensive clothes that you can buy and eventually you’ll want to replace them with something else. Buy the biggest of homes and often it just turn into a place where you sit and lament over your discontentment.)


So many individuals are grappling today over the fact that they don’t have real joy in their lives. They are looking for something in their lives that validates all the energy that is expended in the quest for joy. Many don’t realize that they can’t find joy unless they look in the right place.

About the Scripture:

Peter was faced with a grave challenge as he sought ways to encourage the Lord’s church as it fell under acute persecution.

People had heard and believed and was willing to follow Jesus based on the preaching. But there were forces working against the Church. These forces resorted to personal, individual attacks on those who were trying to be the Church of Christ. For many the choice was life or death.

This would challenge us to ask ourselves the question, “What would be the motivation for anyone to cling to Christianity in the face of sure injury or death?

There are no guarantees that the things that are commonly sought after in life; that we perceive brings joy; will occur for us. The fact is that many lost the joy and comfort of food, clothing and shelter because they chose to follow Christ. So what is the promise that will make an individual risk the loss of creature comforts for the cause of Christ?

Persecution can cause either growth or bitterness in the Christian life. Response determines the result. In writing to Jewish believers struggling in the midst of persecution, Peter encourages them to conduct themselves courageously for the Person and program of Christ. Both their character and conduct must be above reproach. Having been born again to a living hope, they are to imitate the Holy One who has called them. The fruit of that character will be conduct rooted in submission: citizens to government, servants to masters, wives to husbands, husbands to wives, and Christians to one another.

Only after submission is fully understood does Peter deal with the difficult area of suffering.

The Christians are not to think it “strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you”(4:12) but are to rejoice as partakers (participants) of the suffering of Christ.

Peter counters the problem of persecution with the promise if joy.

In summary

Peter is telling those who have been disbursed abroad that the persecution that they are undergoing will all be worth it in the end. If they hold on to Gods unchanging hand they will find themselves experiencing unspeakable joy.

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