God Gives Us Joy in Grief

1 Peter 1:6–9, Part 1

Principle for Bible Reading

What role do trials play in the Christian life? In this lab, John Piper explains a hard, but beautiful truth. God writes hardship and suffering into every believer’s story for the sake of their faith. He wants to secure and deepen our joy in himself, and so he carries us through various trials.

View the outline.


Introduction/Prayer (00:00–01:56)

The Call to Rejoice (01:56–04:00)

  1. “In this you rejoice . . .” (1 Peter 1:6). “This” refers to the salvation and inheritance described in 1 Peter 1:3–5.
  2. By saying that they do rejoice, Peter’s words very likely created what they called for, meaning some were liberated to rejoice in their suffering by Peter’s letter. (1 Peter 1:6)

Grief in the Christian Life (04:00–07:02)

  1. “A little while” (1 Peter 1:6) is Peter’s description of a person’s whole life.
  2. Why would trials be necessary for a Christian (1 Peter 1:6)? Who determines that it is necessary? God (1 Peter 4:19).
  3. Joy and trials are simultaneous in Peter’s mind. (1 Peter 1:6, 2 Corinthians 6:10)
  4. The trials (the types of suffering) that come will be of various kinds. (1 Peter 1:6)

Reasons for Rejoicing (07:02–05:20)

  1. The reason trials come in order to prove our faith genuine, and result in praise, glory, and honor. (1 Peter 1:7)
  2. The genuineness of our faith is more precious even than gold (1 Peter 1:6). And if gold is of less value and is tested by fire, how much more will our faith be tested to prove its greater worth.
  3. Whose “praise and glory and honor” (1 Peter 1:7)? Surely, it is the believer’s (1 Peter 5:4). His word for shepherds applies to all.
  4. Your faith will result in glory. If you persevere, you will be glorified. (1 Peter 1:7, Romans 8:18)

Study Questions

  1. 1 Peter 1:6 begins with, “In this you rejoice . . .” What does “this” refer to? Summarize it in your own words.
  2. What do you learn about suffering in the Christian life in 1 Peter 1:6–7? How many things can you list from these two verses?
  3. Whose “praise and glory and honor” is Peter referring to? Does 1 Peter 5:5 and Romans 8:18
Piper: “Those who follow Jesus are often sorrowful, and always rejoicing.”