“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 honor and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ” (I Peter 1:7).
No one enjoys trials, for when they come, they may bring “heaviness” of heart (v.6) or distress. Our text assures us, however, of purposes and benefits to those subjected to them.
A comparison is made between our faith and gold. Gold is refined by fire. Once the gold-containing ore is heated above the melting point of gold, the various elements and minerals separate, which allows the impurities to rise to the surface and be skimmed off. Similarly, trials refine our faith, allowing the removal of impurities. The ultimate result of such purification is threefold; praise, honor, and glory.
“Praise” implies public approval. When Christ returns, and to a lesser degree now, faithful Christians will receive open commendation from the Lord. He “will make manifest the counsels of the hearts: and then shall every man have praise of God” (I Corinthians 4:5).
“Glory” is somewhat different. In some way known fully only to Him, we shall participate in His glory. He “shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto His glorious body” (Philippians 3:21). Furthermore, we can “reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us” (Romans 8:18).
“Honor” speaks of the position given us by God. Christ taught that “if any man serve me, him will my Father honor” (John 12:26).
Knowing the promised results doesn’t lessen our trials, but it does make them easier to bear. May we each possess a purified, effective, strong faith now, and praise and honor and glory in the ages to come. JDM