This is the outline to a lesson I taught a while back. Numbers of these thoughts are not very well developed, so if you have questions or comments, feel free to take advantage of the comment section below.
1 Peter 1:6-9
LBC ABF, 10/9/2016
In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls.
Where is your Joy? (v6a)
Where is your joy? That is, what makes you happy? I’m not asking what do you think should make you happy (we’ll get there), but just try and think about the word joy or the word happiness, and what comes to mind? A person, a place, event? Perhaps a particular memory that always takes you back to the “good old days.” We find joy in a lot of things, don’t we? When our football team wins, when it’s a good day for funny quotes on pinterest, when dinner turns out the way we hoped it would, when the sun shines (or when it rains…), when we view a mountain sunset, when someone significant in our life tells us that they are proud of us, when our kids learn to walk or to pray.
Most of the things we find joy in are good things. Indeed, many of them have been given to us by God that we might enjoy them. Our God is the Father of lights, from whom comes every good and perfect gift (James 1:17). So we don’t want to minimize these things, these joys. Nor do we even want to draw a dichotomy between the joy that these bring and the joy that we will discuss momentarily. While there are differences in surety, in strength, of these joys, as well as differences in their foundational causes, they are not altogether different things. People who are not brought joy by the things in life that bring joy, don’t enjoy God. “For apart from him, who can eat or have enjoyment?” (Ecclesiastes 2:25)
But this world isn’t a very good place to rest our hopes and joys, is it? Because for all of the goodness of the gifts which God gives to us, these things are all transient, slipping through our fingers, passing away. “Vanity of vanities”, says the Preacher, “all is vanity.” (Ecclesiastes 1:2). So when Peter says, “in this you rejoice”, to what does he refer? Well, he is looking back to the things he said in verses 3-5, that we have a living hope, an eternal inheritance, and a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. I liked the way Edmund Clowney put it in his commentary, “As those who are given birth by God, we also receive our inheritance from him. That inheritance is kept for us, and we are kept for it...Indeed, our final inheritance is not merely kept by God; it actually is the Lord himself.”
So where ought our hope to rest, in a final sense? In the salvation that God has given us, that He is working in us, and that He is preparing for us. Ultimately, our hope and our joy flow from and are aimed toward, God Himself. This is important. Really important.
What is your life? (v6b)
What is He doing? (v7)
What is the point? (v8-9)