“In all this you greatly rejoice,
though now for a little while you may have had
to suffer grief in all kinds of trials.”
1 Peter 1:6 (NIV)
A common saying in the western world is “Good grief”. It usually translates, “What a shame” or “How awful”. It is a negative term used when hearing of some tragedy occurring to another person.
Grief is a negative emotional response to an overwhelming sorrow occurring in your life. Grief is common when enduring the loss of a loved one. Grief also occurs when we lose a bodily function such as the ability to walk.
Some Christians think we should rejoice at everything that happens to us in life. One book I read went so far as to say parents should rejoice when their unmarried daughter comes home and announces she is pregnant.
Scripture not only says that believers will grieve—but indicates that grieving is the right thing to do in the presence of suffering or trials. Our verse today indicates not only that grief is natural and appropriate—but even necessary at times. There is such a thing as good grief.
If some well meaning Christian has told you that tears and grief are sinful, pray for grace to answer them gently and not with anger or malice. Look for a believer who has gone through your experience and been able to grow in grace because of the problem. Ask them how they overcame their difficulty and encourage them to pray for you in your time of grief.
The rejoicing—spoken of in our verse today—concerns our delight in our salvation, not our response to suffering. We have been given descriptions of the glories that are part of our eternal inheritance. These statements of what we shall enjoy forever are given to us to act as a firm footing so that we do not slip and fall.
Spend time reading passages such as Revelation 21, 22 and you shall soon find yourself calmed down and your grief manageable. Soon enough, in the will of God, we shall enter our eternal residences, obtain our resurrection bodies, and be seated at the wedding supper of the Lamb. Comfort yourself with these glorious and eternal thoughts.