In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trails, that the genuineness of your faith being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ, whom having not seen you love. Though now you do not see Him, yet believing, you rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, receiving the end of your faith- the salvation of your souls (1 Peter 1:6-9).
Going through various trials can seem grievous. So often, Christians use “rebuke” as a cure all, but there is a purpose for difficulty in your life. Now you do not just want to say, “I love you, trouble at work!” “I love you, family conflict!” “I love you, broken down washing machine!” No, you do not do that. However, there is a purpose- a God-purpose, not a devil-purpose- in difficulty. In Genesis 37, we are told the story of Joseph, whose brothers mistreated him and sold him into slavery. Years later, in Egypt, he was able to say to them, “You meant it for evil, but God meant it for good” (Genesis 50:20). Perhaps the devil wants to destroy us through things that happen in our lives, but God means if for good. And that is why Scripture says in Romans 8:28 that “and we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.” God uses trials to bring us such a glorious end: the salvation of our souls. The end of our faith is not cars, land, money, etc. The end of our faith, the goal of our faith, is the salvation of our souls.
A lot of believers are not doing well in this category; all who are reborn have a new spirit that is pure, holy, and undefiled, but it is possible to still have a raggedy soul. Attitudes and thoughts are raggedy. Anger problems = raggedy soul. Discontentment = raggedy soul. Murmuring and complaining = raggedy soul. Gossiping problems = raggedy soul. Living lives that compromise Biblical standards speaks of a RAGGEDY SOUL EXPERIENCE. I must take control of my mind and stop thinking ungodly things. I must take control of my mouth and stop saying ungodly things. I must take control of my imagination and stop imagining ungodly things. Even in trying circumstances- circumstances in which I am stretched and pulled- I do not resort to old ways of the flesh. When tested, I come through by God’s grace! I see victory over fleshly ways and slowly but surely, I advance and my soul demonstrates a growth and a maturity befitting a child of God. I now know I am saved for today and tomorrow and forever because Jesus Christ, according to the writer of Hebrews, became the Author of eternal salvation. This does not say He gives me something that is temporary; He gave me something permanent. He did not say, “I am giving you this permanent salvation, but if you don’t act right every day I am going to take it back.” This salvation of the spirit is immediate and complete. The salvation of the soul is secure, but it is a process. God wants you to know that the goal of your faith is the salvation of your soul. Demonstrate faith as you face your trials, knowing that the God of heaven and earth is at work through the trials in your life to refine you, to reshape you, to make the genuineness of your faith resplendent so that Jesus is glorified!