In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, as was necessary, you have been grieved by various trials. – 1 Peter 1:6
Scripture reading: Acts 5:12-42
In verse 6, Peter now returns to his theme of suffering and tells these scattered, persecuted Christians, they have much to rejoice in while at the same time they are distressed by various trials. Seems like a contradiction doesn’t it? Joyful and distressed?!? How are we to understand this? He is declaring that we can be joyful for who we are in Christ, for the living hope we possess, for the great inheritance we shall receive, that we are kept by the power of God and that one day we shall go to be with Christ. All these things lift up the soul and help in distressing times and encourage us when experiencing suffering in this life.
Peter himself had experienced great suffering. In Acts 5, after being beaten and warned not to speak in the name of Jesus, he and the other apostles departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for His name (Acts 5:41). They were able to rejoice despite their suffering because they counted themselves worthy to suffer dishonour for Jesus. Is your perspective the same? Do you count yourself worthy to suffer for Jesus? This does not mean we put on a superficial smile and never show grief whenever we experience pain. Remember, trials only last a little while and then every Christian is comforted in eternity. Being with Christ far outweighs the trials of life. That is our rejoicing! Is it yours?
Suggestions for prayer
Pray for the peace and joy of Christ when going through times of pain and suffering and that, like the Apostles, you will be able to count yourself worthy to even suffer shame for the name of Jesus.
This daily devotional is available in a print edition you can buy at Nearer to God Devotional. Rev. Michael Jaatinen is the minister of Mount Zion Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church in Moncton, NB.