I think, for the most part, Christians understand that although we are children of God we will still face some difficulties in our lives. But what happens when those difficulties go from days to weeks to months, even to years? What happens when sickness hits, money is gone, relationships fail, loved one dies, and there seems to be nowhere to turn… Why do these things still happen to the children of God?
I’m not talking about the ones who only serve him with their lips but not their hearts. I’m talking about bad things happening to the ones who have been faithfully serving him from the heart and yet, trouble still comes.
For most of us, the first thing we began to think is “What is it that I am doing wrong?” Even other people will begin to dissect your life and tell you “It must be this or it must be that” or “Maybe you need to do more of this or you’re not doing enough of that”.
We think there must be some important link that we are leaving out or it must be something we are doing wrong. Because why else would God allow these bad things to happen to us?
But the bible tells us in 1 Peter 4:12-13, Dear friends, do not be surprised at the Fiery ordeal that has come on you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice inasmuch as you participate in the sufferings of Christ. So that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed.
The Greek word for Fiery is “purosis” which means smelting-a burning trial. Peter was letting the people know up front, that they were not going to test by some little pity-pat trial that they could just smile their way through, but that they would face trials that would cause them to suffer.
Meaning that they would feel misery, pain, distress, or hardship. It would cause them to question themselves, question God or question their faith.
In the above passage of scripture, it does not indicate that trials are because of one’s disobedience, even though we know disobedience can lead to trouble (Deuteronomy 28:15-68). However it says, “The fiery trials come to test you”, in other words, to test your faith. But why would God want to do this? Surely he knows that we go to church and pray and seek him and try to do right as much as we can.
Surely he knows our heart is honest with him, surely he knows our worship is for real…so why must we be tested and why in such a fiery way?
First of all, God wants us to be like Christ in every area of our life. He wants us to be equipped with the same attitude towards suffering that Jesus demonstrated (1 Peter 4:1-2). And what is that attitude? Suffering could not get Jesus to give up or make him turn away from God.
Although he felt pain and anguish when he was betrayed, beat, whipped, spat on, nails through his hands and feet, hung on a cross to die, they even stuck a spear through his side, it could not make him stop believing nor trusting in God, he rather suffer than to get out of the will of God.
Now that’s powerful, that’s dedicated, that’s committed and that’s most definitely being sold out to God, to rather suffer than to be out of God’s will. Even in 2 Corinthians 4:7-10 we read the Apostles Paul words towards suffering “
We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed; Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body.
So, how do we know that we are committed and sold out to God if we have never been tried? How do we know that we will stand no matter what if we’ve never been tested? How do we know we are fully relying on God with full dependency in Him if we have never been put through the fire?
It’s easy to speak those words with our lips, but let the true test come, the fiery trial, are we still sold out to God then? Like I said before I’m not talking about some little test that you can just jump over and look back and laugh at but those things that are going to cause suffering to your flesh and your soul, will you still hold on to God?
When it seems like the things that happened was as unfair as unfair can get, will you still commit yourself to God? When you prayed, and the answer you so much desired did not happen, will you still stay in his will?
When it seems like trouble is on every side and never going to pass, will you still stay with him? Only the fiery trials will prove rather you will or that you will not. We can speak it with our lips and say yes I will. But the fiery trials will show what’s really in you.
Maybe you feel like the trial was too much to bear. And now you feel hurt, angry or disappointed in God. He understands how you feel and he wants to heal your heart.
Our actions not our reactions determines Gods love for us. The test is to only to show us where we stand in our faith. And to be an example and help for others. We say we know, but it’s not until we have been tested that we really know.
Father God I pray to you, there are some of us who are in fiery trials right now and there are others who will soon face them. I pray God that you strengthen your people to stand.
Help us to go through. Take us by the hand and lead us and guide us. Help us God to keep our eyes on you. For in you, and you only we find strength to stand. In you and you only can we find the strength to go through. Comfort our hearts, keep our minds, help us to meditate on your word and your promises.
There is nothing too hard for you, nothing too big for you. We put our full trust in you know you are willing and able to help us. You can turn this situation around, you can make light out of darkness. We wait for you, for you alone are God. We love, we worship you, we praise you. In Jesus name we pray, amen.
From my heart to yours I ask that you please share this message. I know there is someone out there who needs to read it. Thank you in advance and God bless you!
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