1 Peter 1:6-9
Nobody likes adversity. But if you’re a believer, difficulties and suffering are valuable because they can strengthen your faith and prove it is genuine. Unfortunately, many churchgoers today continually wonder whether they ever actually received salvation. Even scriptural assurances of eternal security may bring no comfort to people who aren’t sure they are saved.
Using an illustration of seed sown on different kinds of soil (Matt. 13:18-23), Jesus told a parable about various responses to the gospel. He described one of the soils as rocky, likening it to someone who initially receives the good news with joy. But on encountering trials, the person falls away because superficial trust in Christ often fades when tested by hardship.
In contrast, Peter says that when professing believers are beset by trials yet remain steadfast in the Lord Jesus, their faith is proved genuine. The result is confidence in their salvation, and with each new trial, assurance and trust in Christ grows. Their continued perseverance is the fruit of salvation that demonstrates they are abiding in Him (John 15:5).
That’s why we can rejoice even in our sufferings—because through them, God is assuring us of our salvation and conforming us to His image. Knowing this should give us hope and encouragement to continue the process of sanctification, because we have confidence that our salvation will be completed with the resurrection of our bodies.
The next time you face trouble, remember God wants you to know that your salvation is genuine. So hold tightly to Christ and keep trusting Him.