In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ, whom having not seen you love. Though now you do not see Him, yet believing, you rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, receiving the end of your faith—the salvation of your souls. (1 Peter 1:6-9)
The Outcome Of Your Faith
It is difficult to imagine living in a world where Nero was ruling as Caesar and as a Christian persecution was a common lot. The apostle Peter lived in a time of great trial to call Jesus Savior and King and serve the Lord instead of pagan dogmas. Many of God’s people would suffer death because they believed in one God and professed allegiance to the King Jesus. Persecution came from many quarters of the Roman world: the Roman government, Judaism, carnality, internal and individual conflicts among the brethren. Peter is writing to the pilgrims of the dispersion seeking to instill in their hearts a spirit of courage and faith. There was little room for comfort in a world attacking those who professed Christ. The humble apostle writes to bring hope to the weary souls of those who had faced many trials as Christians and had more trials to face. He wanted them to understand that all their trials would last for a little while but then be removed. Whether in the end of persecution or the reality of death, hope for the Christian came from the knowledge the faithful would inherit the kingdom of God. Faith needed to be genuine to survive the torrent of trials the early saints faced. Through the trials of their test of faith the early Christians would learn a resilience to carry them to salvation. Peter had seen the Lord and spent many hours with Him. Many of the Christians he writes to had never seen Jesus and yet believed strongly in the message of the man from Galilee. The saints loved Christ and this love was not based on having seen Jesus face to face but through the teaching of the word of God. Their joy was inexpressible and full of glory by faith in Christ. This is an amazing kind of faith when those who have never seen another love with such intensity. As a result of their faith they had in a figure received the salvation of their souls. Grace would be poured out in its greatest measure in eternity but the grace of God overwhelmed His children who received the end or outcome of their faith in this life by believing in Jesus.
Faith serves many parts of life. It is the substance of things hoped for because it sees the face of Jesus and trust in His word. Faith is the evidence of things not seen giving salvation to the soul knowing that God’s word is faithful and true. The outcome of faith is the blessing it brings to the heart to face whatever trial life brings. In the days of Peter it was fierce persecution. In many parts of the world today there are faithful children of God living under the pale of oppression because of their belief in one God, one Lord and one faith. The outcome of their faith gives them the reassurance of all God’s promises being true and they can enjoy salvation of their souls in the hope of eternal life yet to come. For those living in America it is a greater challenge to build upon their faith as it can easily become something taken for granted. Joy inexpressible is rooted in the feelings of dependence on the grace of God to carry the soul through the trials of life. It may be facing cancer, hearing the news of a loved one’s death, losing employment, struggling with the consequence of sin and a host of ways Satan seeks to destroy faith. Salvation is realized in this life when hope trust in the promises of God.
Genuine faith is more precious than gold that perishes. It becomes stronger when tested by fire. Salvation never comes free. It cost Jesus His place with the Father and His death on the cross. All those who seek to follow the Savior must humble themselves and carry a cross. The burden of faith is relieved in the joy of salvation’s message of hope realized in this life. No matter the challenges faced in life hope is awakened from the eternal strains of God’s love and grace. Faith is seeing the face of Jesus yet having never seen Him. The outcome of faith is found in praise, honor and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ. This knowledge soothes the weary soul to endure the trials of life and see the joy of heaven. Salvation of the soul is not something to look forward to but to enjoy now through the eye of faith.