Our joy now lies in our tremendous hope for the future. Even if we are now subject to trials of all sorts in this fallen world. Peter reminds his readers that we may be put to the test, or more precisely, it is our faith that is tested. Faith being largely about trust, our faith is best seen when we have to exercise that trust.
As much as Western Christianity has liked to make faith all about a type of magic power that leads to all manner of blessings: health and wealth and the fringe benefits of religion; it is really more about an ultimately blind leap of faith. We trust that God has a plan and a purpose in the face of all the suffering, tragedy, and uncertainty that life throws at us.
That is why being a follower of Jesus is never quite as easy as evangelism has pretended it is for the past several decades. It is not a mere intellectual agreement with a fact that leads to a wonderful, carefree life. It is a surrender to trust someone we cannot see with our life and direction where we are never guaranteed an easy or pleasant outcome. In fact, quite the opposite. What we trust, though, is that it is worth it.
And, in that life of faith, we do indeed find joy in the face of suffering. Christ is not only the focus of our trust in this matter, but also the supreme example. More on that later in the letter…