1 Peter 1:6 Identity: Rejoicing

In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials.

Rejoicing

It is the identity of the rejoicing Christian that has seemed most illusive and elusive.  I picture joy as the constant state of glowing assurance.  I picture it as a sustained joy that bubbles over into happiness once in a while.  Maybe I have taken on too much sorrow in my identity.  Maybe I have expectations that are beyond my resources.  However, I am challenged because I too soon can find a reason not to be happy.  I have grading that sits in an ominous pile on the dining room table.  My son played badly at soccer and I am the coach.  I have not published a book or completed a doctorate.  In my list I see a strain of ingratitude and entitlement.  I do not see what I have and think that I should receive a ‘better’ life whilst I sit passively and wait for it to happen.  May God create in me the heart of Joy and gratitude that he has promised.  May I choose to rejoice by releasing whatever I have built up that leaves me flat.  I have had moments and even days of rejoicing.  I hope to find my way back.

Prayer

To define the Christian life as one of joy seems the aspect I am furthest from.  I am not clear on the path to joy, but I think it is connected to gratitude and contentment.  Guide me on the steps to rejoicing.

Questions

  1. What causes us to rejoice according to the verse?
  2. What stands against the rejoicing of the recipients?
  3. How does one rejoice whilst grieving?
  4. How have you experienced rejoicing?
  5. How does a person cultivate a life of rejoicing?
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About Plymothian

I teach at Moody Bible Institute in Chicago. My interests include education, biblical studies, and spiritual formation. I have been married to Kelli since 1998 and we have two children, Daryl and Amelia. For recreation I like to run, play soccer, play board games, read and travel.
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4 Responses to 1 Peter 1:6 Identity: Rejoicing

  1. 33324bg says:

    I think cultivating and maintaining an eternal perspective is important for “rejoicing purposes.” Note that this verse says that we are suffering “now” for a “little while.” 1 Peter 5:10 also says, “After we have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ will Himself perfect, confirm, strengthen and establish you.”
    Even though the original recipients were suffering in all kinds of trials, this suffering wasn’t going to last long, though called to suffer now, the saints dare not forget that God has called them to behold God’s glory forever and thus enjoy and serve Him forever. This suffering is worth it because paradise is long AND God promises to bless us and make us completely like Christ once we’re through with the “little while” of this life and thus the suffering in it.

  2. Christina Zezulak says:

    According to this verse, Christians rejoice in what has been mentioned in the previous verses. His great mercy that gives us a living hope through His resurrection (v. 3), an imperishable inheritance in heaven (v. 4), and His protection of our salvation (v. 5). “Though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials” (v. 6) shows that suffering, grief, trials, etc. are possible ways to be discouraged versus joyful. I believe that God gives His children a lasting joy that sustains us in each circumstance and emotion. I may not always be happy in every moment of the day, but I am always joyful, because I know who I am in Him and my hope in Him. I may go through horrifying circumstances filled with pain and grief, but knowing Christ brings a peace and joy that goes beyond that. Feeling that pain and emotions does not lessen the joy that we have in the Lord, as long it does not completely replace it in our hearts and minds. We may have the joy of the Lord but be swayed by and unfocused because of the distracting sufferings of the day. The key, in my perspective, would be to continually remind oneself the great joy we have in Christ and to pray earnestly to not lose sight of it in every season of life. Only Christ can allow us to rejoice always – there is no other that can give us the continual peace and joy that He freely gives His beloved.

  3. It seems like that they were going through hard trials and they got through the trials and now can rejoice even its for a little while. What stands against them could of been the fact that they were fearing for the lives every day. They didn’t know what was going to happen day to day. They also could of been and probably were losing a lot of friends and family to persecution.
    Rejoicing can come and go so quickly in our world. People can easily take the rejoicing away from someone just because they don’t feel like rejoicing as well. One way I find I am able to rejoice in grieving is focusing on things that are true. Yes, some of the truth is hard to understand and believe, but I am able to accept these things of truth because I am not trying to figure out my theology of God in the midst of a trial. I think to often we think that rejoicing should be kept in a box but really we do not have an excuse to not rejoice. It’s easy to become joyless in the world we live, but that’s why we must continue to go back to God and focus on Him and what He is doing!

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