1 Peter 1:3-9
1:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! By his great mercy he has given us a new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,
1:4 and into an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you,
1:5 who are being protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.
1:6 In this you rejoice, even if now for a little while you have had to suffer various trials,
1:7 so that the genuineness of your faith–being more precious than gold that, though perishable, is tested by fire–may be found to result in praise and glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.
1:8 Although you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and rejoice with an indescribable and glorious joy,
1:9 for you are receiving the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls.
Persecution and suffering for the sake of the Gospel is an inevitable part of the Christian walk. Whether its your job, reputation, or even your very life that is put on the line, we all face some type of persecution to some degree.
Here Peter is speaking of how our faith cannot be dependant on our circumstances but on what God can do in and through our circumstances. Our response to this should be one of rejoicing and joy. This kind of joy comes from the unchanging, eternal relationship with God. God sometimes places us in hard situations, so that He can test the reality of our faith. The benefit of that is that our faith becomes stronger and He is assured that our faith is genuine (vs 7).
Whatever it is we go through in life, as believers, we know where our future hope lies, which is that one we will be spending eternity with Him. Do not put your focus on your present life. Everything we face in this world is temporary and is not compared to the life that we have in Him and will have when He returns to take us home.
In this you rejoice, even if now for a little while you have had to suffer various trials, so that the genuineness of your faith–being more precious than gold that, though perishable, is tested by fire–may be found to result in praise and glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. (1 Peter 1:7-8)
There is always much to discuss when talking about salvation. Catholics emphasis dedication to the church and the sacraments. Protestants tend to emphasize the faith alone doctrine. I would submit, however, that salvation is a multi-faceted thing. Yes we are saved by faith but we are also tested in our faith so that we can be proven genuine and for perfecting our faith. If we are truly saved and repentant then our fruit will show.
Jesus said that “every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit.” While the fruit is not the same as the root, the fruit does represent the root. We are not saved or unsaved by our fruit but we are revealed by our fruit.