In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor a the revelation of Jesus Christ.
1 Peter 1:6-7 (ESV)
We are familiar with the statement of Paul that we have all sinned and have come short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23). What glory have we come short of? It is the glory that God designed humans to have in the beginning. It is the glory of trusting God as his partner and image bearer on earth. Mankind is most honored when they are living in total trust toward God. There is a security and significance in that state that exults in being alive. Every created person longs for such glory and honor.
When Adam and Eve distrusted God and disobeyed him, they lost the glorious honor. Ever since then humans have been trying to regain the lost honor by personal achievement. We are obsessed with gaining a name and reputation. We recoil at the very thought of being rejected or unnoticed. We work, play, and practice religion in order to gain some sense of honor. When we are disrespected, hostility arises and wars begin. We cannot live without honor of some kind. If we can’t be good, then we might be good at being bad. If we can’t have a good name, we will settle for a notorious name, but we demand to be noticed.
The great salvation that Peter describes centers on Jesus being our representative on earth and gaining the glory God intended for humans. “Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth…" (Philippians 2:9-10). He did that for us. We are blessed with the honor that Jesus achieved.
But there is more. Peter also explains that God is working in our lives now to purify our faith so that we can live in trust toward God. As we face various trials, our faith is tested and refined so that as we share the life of Christ, we too can trust him fully. This restores experientially the sense of honor and glory we were designed for. This will be fully manifested when Christ is fully revealed. So our hope is in him. He gave us his achieved glory, and he works in us to restore the glory we have lost in unbelief and disobedience. We shall one day enjoy all that we were created to be. In the meantime we are learning to trust and are enjoying his grace.