by John D. Morris, Ph.D.
"Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations." (1 Peter 1:6)
Our lives today are continually badgered by various trials, or "manifold temptations." The trials are to bring about a pure and effective faith, pleasing to God. But the apostle Peter is not referring to trials or their results when he declares: "Wherein ye greatly rejoice." On the contrary, he is summing up a list of blessings given in the preceding three verses. As we delineate them, let us rejoice as well.
"His abundant mercy" (v. 3). Mercy implies a compassionate act on one who is in desperate need. In context, God's mercy was granted to us in salvation when there was nothing we could do to save ourselves.
"Begotten us again" (v. 3). We have been born again! We are now His children, born into His family. We now have spiritual life—eternal life.
"A lively hope" (v. 3)—not just a living hope—it is much more than that. We have a hope that is actively, vibrantly alive. This "lively" state was accomplished in and through the bodily "resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead." Our eventual, eternal resurrection is thus assured.
"An inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you" (v. 4). This inheritance could not be more secure or more glorious.
"Kept by the power of God" (v. 5). The protection of God extends far beyond the inheritance; it encompasses the individual heir also—the one who has tasted of His mercy "through faith unto salvation."
"To be revealed in the last time" (v. 5). Though the saved are now freed from the penalty and power of sin, there will be a final deliverance from the presence of sin.
Indeed, there is much about which to "greatly rejoice." JDM