“In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials.” 1 Peter 1:6

In the previous verses, the apostle Peter has exclaimed the wonder of salvation and the real hope of an eternal inheritance, because of the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead! And so he naturally begins verse 6 with, “in this you greatly rejoice.” Oh, what great reason we have to rejoice!!! The gospel is real, because death could not hold our Saviour! He is alive today, and is seated at the right hand of God the Father! We have every reason to worship our God with passion and intensity, with devotion and excitement this morning!

But Peter goes on to say, “though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials.” I wish to direct your attention, this morning, to those two words, “if necessary”. Peter includes those two words for good reason. He is not simply reminding us that we all experience suffering in this life. But Peter, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, is directing our hearts to the fact that there is a Sovereign Hand in charge of the unique trials each of us face this morning. The sovereign God, who has set His love upon you from eternity past, is graciously, tenderly, and perfectly measuring out trials into your life. He only sends those which are custom made for the strengthening of your faith and for your growth in grace.

We may be tempted to think that suffering is random and purposeless. But that is a lie from the father of lies. The God, who was sovereign over the cross of Calvary, the greatest suffering this world has ever seen, is also sovereign over each of our various trials this morning. I don’t understand all of His ways, but I know He desires to draw our hearts away from the temporary pleasures of this earth to the eternal inheritance laid up for us in glory! In God’s perfect plan, those who suffer the most, may also be those who offer the sweetest worship to God, as through tears, they sing:

All the waiting will be over
Every sorrow will be healed

And You’ll gather us together
In Your arms of endless grace
As Your Bride forever when we see Your face!