The trinitarian purpose of Christian trials

The Apostle Peter wrote to some of his people who were suffering for their profession of faith in Jesus Christ and who were enduring trials generally.

In his letter, 1 Peter, the Apostle addresses how they were, as “elect exiles,” ambassadors representing a foreign kingdom and sojourning on the earth, proclaiming the news that their King had given them and bringing others back with them to their true hom.

But Peter did not begin his letter with promises of immediate relief or with tips to lessen their suffering. In fact, with what we would consider poor bedside manner, Peter eventually promises that “after you suffer for a little while” God would comfort them (1 Peter 5:10).

What Peter decided that his hearers needed to know first, before addressing their trials, was who God was and who they were in God. In a soaring proclamation of the role that each person of the trinity plays, Peter reassured his readers with descriptions of the Godhead and how the trinity works together both to save and to secure, even through temporal circumstances (1 Peter 1:1-2).

Perhaps Peter was telling them that before they focused on what is happening, they should focus on what is. Before fosuing on what what happening to them, they should focus on what had been done for them. Before focusing on their suffering, they should focus on their Savior. Before focusing on their tribulation, they should focus on the trinity.

It is certainly true that we don’t understand earthly things rightly before we begin to comprehend heavenly things truly.

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