Beckett: Facing Trials – Heaviness, Part 3

1 Peter 1:6-7, Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations: That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ.

The Christian lifestyle is not an absence of feeling. The reason why Christians find themselves in this “heaviness” and thus the condition of grief and despair is because of these “manifold temptations.” Other translations may say something along the lines of “various trials,” and it means the same thing. The word “manifold” comes from the Greek word ποικίλος (poikilos), which the literal translation means, “of different colours.” In this letter that Peter wrote to his audience, they were all experiencing manifold trials, just like we all still do today. These trials come in different ways and various colours, shapes, and forms; there is no end to the variety. Many of these Christians were being persecuted, even worse than we think we are in America. A lot worse.

In 1 Peter 2:11-12 we read, “I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul, having your conversation honest among the Gentiles: that, whereas they speak against you as evildoers, they may by your good works which they shall behold, glorify God in the day of visitation.” Instead of arguing with each other over theology where people can easily see it, we must have our talk be honest and speak of love—to speak of the joy in Christ. Yet because the Christian is what he or she is, the Christian is subject to torment presented from the world. Because you are a new man or woman in Christ—because you are born again, you are bound to be misunderstood. You are a pilgrim—a stranger in a strange land.

Stay tuned for next time when I finish discussing this “heaviness” and then move on to a new topic in this Facing Trials series about why we suffer.

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