TRIALS; BELIEVERS’S UNDER EMOTIONAL STRESS!
Peter wrote to believers who were suffering greatly in their society at the time. In 1:6 he says,”In this you greatly rejoice, even though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been DISTRESSED by various trials,” The word “distressed,” -(Lupeo) speaks of “tearfully sorrowful, emotional anguish.” “Cognate: lypéō (from /lýpē, “deep grief”) – to experience deep, emotional pain (sadness), i.e. severe sorrow (grief). (lypéō) is very intense and hence even used of the pain of childbirth (see Gen 3:16,)” as you can see, these believers were suffering and the book shows how so, in many different ways.
And Peter does not make light of their difficulties or chide them, or tell them to “get over it,” or “it could be worse,” or compare them with someone else’s troubles that were far worse. He didn’t downplay or belittle their sufferings but acknowledged the truth about them, they were suffering! He acknowledges the deep deep pain that they are going through. But he does not leave them there but writes to help them and give them reasons for HOPE amidst their HURT!
These dear people were suffering deep, painful emotional pain, emotional anguish. Their suffering was not a sign that they did not love Him or the false belief peddled today that if they truly loved Him this would not be happening! Let God speak for these suffering ones and indeed all of His suffering ones down through the ages including today. In verse 8 where we read,”Though you have not seen Him, YOU LOVE HIM; and even though you do not see Him now, YOU BELIEVE IN HIM and are FILLED WITH AN INEXPRESSIBLE and GLORIOUS JOY!” Trials are not an indication of a lack of love or trust in Him!
We don’t seem to speak too much about a follower of Christ being under such mental distress. But here it is…
Is there any hope or help for believers’ mental anguish or is it going to be permanent without any hope? Not the “I wish so hope,” or the hope of a gambler but the very confident expectation, and assurance of future good that God assures and imparts.
Peter begins verse 6 with these words, “IN THIS…” commentaries seem to believe that he is referring to verses 3-5 and the secure inheritance they have to “rejoice” in. The word means “Jump for joy!” How? Peter brings it back to THINKING Right about the LORD and His Greatness and the Greatness of the eternal inheritance that they have that can never be taken from them! And in light of that he begins with verse 3 calling them to “Praise … Bless …” to “ speak well of,” the Father of our LORD Jesus… and if you read verses 3-6 you will find various reasons to do so. And as by faith you begin to praise, and speak well of Him by speaking the truth about Him and what He has revealed concerning these truths, you will find the Holy Spirit who is in you will strengthen and uplift your mind. It may not mean the troubles dissolve but in them, your mind is lifted as the truth begins to liberate and lift your spirit by nourishing your mind, and soul with the truth that elevates!
Can you take time and read 1 Peter 1:3-6 and list one by one reasons to Praise and “rejoice” The word means to “jump for joy” internally for these blessings you have …
FOUR TRUTHS to Help Us with Mental Anguish.
1.- THINK RIGHT; Read and MEDITATE upon the Truth of His Word.
Truth FREES us Up -(John 8:38); Truth BUILDS us Up -(Acts 20:32); Truth TRANSFORMS our thinking-( Rom 12:2); Truth enables us to PERSEVERE-(Rom 15:4); Truth ENCOURAGES us; -( Rom 15:4); Truth REVEALS JESUS Christ To us-( Luke 24:27); Truth CHEERS us Up-(1 Peter 1:6); Truth DELIGHTS the one who mediates upon it-( Psalm 1:2).
Ask the LORD to help you to desire to and meditate on a Truth. Indeed your asking pleases Him. For it is an expression of faith in Him. It is asking Him to do what you realize you are unable to do yourself. It is an acknowledgment of your dependency on His goodness, mercy, and loving concern for you. Good job!
The Holy Spirit in you will help you!
Imagine a sick child who has lost their appetite. They may have to be fed just a small spoonful of food at a time so as to try to get some nutrition in them. Like that poor sick child, You may need to start with just one or two words found in one of these verses to think on and the Holy Spirit will use His Word to nourish your poor soul, and mind, to spiritual health. Sometimes even the thought of reading can be overwhelming. The LORD knows that. He who was compassionate to dear Elijah in the cave of despair also knows your condition. Ask Him to help and bring a verse, a truth back to mind so as to help you find encouragement, and spiritual fuel to praise Him and strengthen you. He will. Because He truly cares for you -( Read1 Peter 5:7).
2. – TALK RIGHT; Choose to specifically PRAISE Him for each blessing you see in 1 Peter 1:3-5…
As you read, FOCUS on His Greatness and the greatness of your salvation and Inheritance these verses reveal. Choose to Praise Him, bless, Speak well of Him for each blessing mentioned, though you may not “feel” like praising. Do it as an expression of love to Him! Do it because He is worthy of your praise. Do it because each of these blessings expresses His specific love for you.
3. – TEMPORAL TROUBLES
Know that these trials as severe, painful, and distressing as they are, they are TEMPORAL! “…for a little while.” 1 Peter 1:6; Read also 1 Peter 5:10
4.- TELL and GIVE each care, anxiety, that is weighing you down, to Him. He wants you to do so because He knows you are not meant to carry them. And the motivation to do so? “ … because He cares for you!”-(1 Peter 5:7).
As the LORD brought dear Elijah out of his “cave,” He will be faithful to you also … Though a trial last a lifetime They are not Everlasting!
He knows you are suffering and all about your sorrows, and He is present with you to sooth your mind and heart and to strengthen you. Jesus is our great High Priest who intercedes for us and Empathizes – feels the very feelings we feel – and He calls us to come confidently to the Throne of grace to receive mercy and Grace to help us in our time of need. And the way it is written, is that the “needy one” May come. And thank God we can come to receive grace to help us in our time of need. That includes you:) – (Read Hebrews 4:15).
Praise the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ who according to His great mercy has caused you to be burn again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus from the dead and give you an Imperishable inheritance that He Himself personally guards!
Hope this will encourage you, to praise Him and in turn seek to EQUIP you to come alongside some suffering saint and encourage and comfort them as He has comforted you.