6In this you greatly rejoice, even though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been distressed by various trials, 7so that the proof of your faith, being more precious than gold which perishes though tested by fire, may be found to result in praise, glory, and …
6Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations: 7That 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 …
No one escapes life’s trials, tribulations, or depression. The heaviness and darkness of life can surround and leave people feeling without hope. As Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones explains in this sermon from 1 Peter 1:6–7, it is natural for Christians to feel grieved and sorrowed. But why do trials and tribulations happen to Christians? What is God accomplishing by allowing difficult circumstances into the lives of his children? Each situation is designed by God to refine the precious character of our faith. Just as gold is refined by the fire to remove impurities, the Christian faith must be refined to remove the impurities of sin. Lloyd-Jones proclaims the words of Peter, that trials are essential in order to show the genuineness of faith, to prove that by God's power, His people can withstand the test. There is no need to despair. Christians are able to endure such times because the Lord loves his children and they can trust Him. These trials are only for a season and there is understanding that the Lord is faithful in all circumstances. The day of revelation is coming, and those who have been refined and are proven faithful will be delivered on that day. The Lord will present those who have been refined as faultless before God.
- Christians can experience a mix of joy and heaviness at the same time. This is not contradictory.
- The heaviness that Christians experience comes from the trials and temptations in life. These trials come in many forms - like persecution, hardship, suffering, etc.
- We must understand why these trials happen. They happen for our good, to discipline us, to prepare us for greater things, and to purify our faith.
- Our faith needs to be perfected and purified. Trials test our faith and strengthen elements like trust, patience and endurance.
- Trials show the genuineness of our faith. How we endure trials demonstrates the authenticity of our faith. Those with spurious faith will fall away under trials.
- Trials are only for a season. God knows how much we can bear and will not test us beyond our ability. He will provide an escape.
- When under trials, we must remind ourselves of the hope we have in Jesus. We have an eternal inheritance and are kept by God's power.
- Trials have an ultimate purpose - to present us blameless before God with great joy.
Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones
Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones (1899-1981) was a Welsh evangelical minister who preached and taught in the Reformed tradition. His principal ministry was at Westminster Chapel, in central London, from 1939-1968, where he delivered multi-year expositions on books of the bible such as Romans, Ephesians and the Gospel of John. In addition to the MLJ Trust’s collection of 1,600 of these sermons in audio format, most of these great sermon series are available in book form (including a 14 volume collection of the Romans sermons), as are other series such as "Spiritual Depression", "Studies in the Sermon on the Mount" and "Great Biblical Doctrines". He is considered by many evangelical leaders today to be an authority on biblical truth and the sufficiency of Scripture.