While rejoicing in the salvation which is coming, you suffer necessary but temporary trials, so that in the genuineness of your faith—which is much more valuable than fire-tested gold—you will find praise and glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. 1 Peter 1:5–7
Olympic gold medalists resemble the gold they pursue. Olympic gold only goes to those of us who have put our minds and bodies through a rigorous training and testing process. Workout after workout; qualification trial after qualification trial; always proving the genuineness of our strength and skill; always questing for the praise and glory and honor that awards success. Joyfully anticipating the award carries us through the suffering of the preparation. But the stability, security and satisfaction inherent in the gold and the glory are limited; so is the joy. Not so the joy that carries us through the trials we endure as we follow Jesus in the obedience of faith. The coming salvation inspires joy. But the trials of our faith can also; for the trials are not trivial. Just as the difficulty of training and competition improve performance and prove proficiency, the adversities of discipleship demand our faithfulness and demonstrate our fortitude. Awareness of such a genuine faith will add to our joy in the moment and will inspire our hope for the future; for Jesus will lavishly award our successful faith with all the delightful affirmation we could ever desire.
Faithful Lord, my eyes are on you as I race vigorously and resolutely toward the day of your glorious revelation. Amen.