1 Peter 1:6-9
Wherein you greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, you are in heaviness through manifold temptations:…
I. HIS HEAVINESS.
1. If we were not in heaviness during our troubles we should not be like our Covenant Head — Christ Jesus.
2. If we did not suffer heaviness we would begin to grow too proud, and become too great in our own esteem.
3. In heaviness we often learn lessons that we never could attain elsewhere. "Ah!" said Luther, "affliction is the best book in my library," and let me add the best leaf in the book of affliction is that blackest of all the leaves, the leaf called heaviness, when the spirit sinks within us, and we cannot endure as we could wish.
4. This heaviness is of essential use to a Christian if he would do good to others. Who shall speak to those whose hearts are broken but those whose hearts have been broken also?
II. HIS REJOICING. Mariners tell us that there are some parts of the sea where there is a strong current upon the surface going one way, but that down in the depths there is a strong current running the other way. Two seas do not meet and interfere with one another, but one stream of water on the surface is running in one direction, and another below in an opposite direction. Now the Christian is like that. On the surface there is a stream of heaviness rolling with dark waves, but down in the depths there is a strong undercurrent of great rejoicing that is always flowing there. The apostle is writing "to the strangers scattered throughout Pontus."
1. The first thing that he says to them is, that they are "elect according to the foreknowledge of God," "wherein we greatly rejoice." Ah! even when the Christian is most "in heaviness through manifold temptations," what a mercy it is that he can know that he is still elect of God!
2. The apostle says that we are "elect through sanctification of the Spirit unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ" — "wherein we greatly rejoice." Is the obedience of the Lord Jesus Christ girt about my loins, to be my beauty; and is the blood of Jesus sprinkled upon me to take away all my guilt and all my sin, and shall I not in this greatly rejoice?
3. But the great and cheering comfort of the apostle is, that we are elect unto an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for us. And here is the grand comfort of the Christian.
4. There is one more doctrine that will always cheer a Christian, this perhaps is the one chiefly intended here in the text. "Reserved in heaven for you who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation." This will be one of the greatest cordials to a Christian in heaviness, that he is not kept by his own power, but by the power of God.
(C. H. Spurgeon.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations: