Some things do not last long, like the flavor in a piece of gum, a lit sparkler, or a tank of gas. Other things which do not last long require intense commitment for a short time and the result has lasting value. Such an example would be earning a doctorate in a field of study. The diligence people put into their study is needed to achieve their goal. These people know that other goals will have to be set aside. They are willing to dedicate the time, money, skill, and hard work for whatever the period of time is to accomplish what will never be taken away from them fifty years from now. That temporary effort yields a lifetime of honor.
In 1 Peter 1, the apostle describes an exchange of tough times for good results. The time frame of these events is described by the words “a little while” (v. 6). Peter was not discussing the time it took to receive a formal education. He was writing about the temporary times of toughness. They are unexpected moments of trials. Regardless of how long they last, there is joy in what those trials are accomplishing. They are leading to a lasting benefit - “that the proof of your faith, being more precious than gold that perisheth though it is proved by fire, may be found unto praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ” (v. 7).
Those trials bring pain, hurt, and sadness, but they are not permanent. Although they do not appear to promise any good news at all, there is an honor bestowed upon those who “stay the course” (2 Timothy 4:6-8). We are exhorted to look ahead to the forever joy promised. It is a joy which helps us to rely upon the providence and grace of our Almighty Father.