1 Peter 1:6 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

1 Peter 1:6, NIV: 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, ESV: In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials,

1 Peter 1:6, KJV: Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations:

1 Peter 1:6, NASB: In this you greatly rejoice, even though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been distressed by various trials,

1 Peter 1:6, NLT: So be truly glad. There is wonderful joy ahead, even though you have to endure many trials for a little while.

1 Peter 1:6, CSB: You rejoice in this, even though now for a short time, if necessary, you suffer grief in various trials

What does 1 Peter 1:6 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

In verses 3–5, Peter has just described the reality of our position as believers in Jesus Christ. God's mercy to us is great. In Christ, we have a living hope that we, too, will be resurrected from the dead just as He was. Waiting for us is an endless, glorious inheritance with our Father in heaven. And right this minute, we ourselves are being shielded from losing that inheritance by God's limitless power. Through faith in Christ, we have been saved, are being saved, and will be saved!

Here, Peter makes an assumption about our response to this reality. He says that we rejoice in this. Do we? It's important here to separate the word "rejoice" from the idea of feeling only positive emotions. To "rejoice," in this sense, does not necessarily mean to "be happy," as we understand the terms today. While rejoicing may include positive feelings, the New Testament often communicates that rejoicing is a choice about how we think about our lives (James 1:2; Philippians 4:4).

In fact, Peter quickly acknowledges that his readers may be grieved or distressed by various trials in the present moment. He realizes they may be experiencing negative emotions because of their negative circumstances—and yet, he still assumes they are rejoicing in the reality of their eternal circumstances in Christ.

We must conclude then, that this "rejoicing" is less about feelings and more about faith. It is less about maintaining some perfect emotional state and more about a declaration: "My life is worth rejoicing over because of what God is doing for me right now. I am provided for. My future is secure. Nothing can change that. I am rejoicing!"