Refined By Suffering

Daily Devotional 1 Peter 1: 6-9


In the final stanza of Christina Rossetti’s poem, “A Better Resurrection,” she calls her life “A broken bowl that cannot hold / One drop of water for my soul.” She prays for it to be “Cast in the fire,” melted, and remolded “till it be / A royal cup for Him, my King: / O Jesus, drink of me.”


Even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy.

1 PETER 1:8


“Refined by fire” is a biblical metaphor that shows suffering and purification (see Zech. 13:9). In today’s reading, Peter explained that our salvation fills us with “an inexpressible and glorious joy” even when we go through suffering and persecution (vv. 7–8). This truth is repeated several times from different angles: We can “greatly rejoice” despite our trials (v. 6). How is joy possible under such circumstances? Joy flows from faith in Christ (v. 8) and from the fact that our suffering occurs in the process of receiving our salvation (v. 9). The larger purpose of our suffering is that Christ will receive even more glory and honor when He returns (v. 7).


In other words, salvation is not just a past moment when we trusted Christ and crossed over from death to life. It’s also a future moment when we will receive our full inheritance and Christ returns to reign. Finally, it’s also this present moment, as we “exiles” walk the road of sanctifying faith. The difficult present is just “a little while” compared to eternity (v. 6). As Paul wrote: “Our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all” (2 Cor. 4:17).


It is no wonder then that faith has a value we cannot measure (v. 7). Just as gold is refined or purified by fire, our faith is refined or purified by suffering. The certain outcome, since our faith is sustained by God, will be faith’s “proven genuineness.”


>> Friends, whatever you’re going through today, we invite you to draw near to God in humble, joyful faith. Know that His promises are true, and our hope is certain!


Pray with Us


Stress, fear, or deep hurt—we lay our burdens before You, Lord, and ask You to reassure us. You are our all-knowing, all-powerful Father whose love endures forever. Whatever we are facing, You will see us through.

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