“In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ,” 1 Peter 1:6-7
“Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you; but rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ’s sufferings, that when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy.” 1 Peter four:12-13
Feel like you’re on the battlefield? Like this isn’t what you signed up for? Like you’re not a soldier but your life seems to be filled with one battle after another? Like you’re tired of the battles? Exhausted from the trials of life? Like you just need a break already? Like you can’t believe you’re in the thick of yet another fiery trial? Like why won’t the Lord give you a break? I know how you feel, my friend.
I have faced trial after trial for so very long, and found myself in battles so often sometimes it feels like there’s no end in sight, and I have found myself so battle weary at times it’s been hard for me to imagine I’ll ever have the energy to face the next one, but the Lord has taught me some amazing lessons I want to share with you now.
- ALL VICTORY in our battles and trials is found in the Lord & His Word. ALL GLORY for victory goes to God.
- EVERYTHING WE NEED in our trials comes from the Lord, right down to the love, grace, mercy, forgiveness, strength, wisdom, direction, hope, physical provision, people to love and help us, absolutely everything.
- There are two kinds of trials. Some trials result because of our sin; they are simply the consequences of rebellion against God, and we have brought them on ourselves and need to repent and return to God. The other kind of trial is the trial God allows so He can work in us to grow us in His image and conform us to Christ. These trials can be fiery, but God is there with us in the midst of them, and our job is to love Him, trust Him, yield to Him, obey Him, and follow Him as He leads us.
- GOD HAS A PURPOSE in our fiery trials. He tests our faith so that ultimately we bring Him glory! And He tells us to rejoice because just as we share in the sufferings of Christ, we will also find joy when Christ’s glory is revealed. Did you catch that? The verse above doesn’t say we should rejoice down the road. He tells us to rejoice NOW! How can we possibly rejoice in the midst of a fiery trial? By communing with Christ, by burying ourselves in the loving arms of God, by resting under His almighty feathers, by hiding in His refuge, by abiding in Jesus, by setting our hearts and minds on Him, by fellowshipping with Him, by seeking and hearing Him, by spending time with Him, by delving into His Word, by enjoying His nearness, His presence, His love, His faithfulness, and on and on. The rejoicing is IN God, even when the fiery trials and battles rage on.
If you are a believer in and follower of the Lord Jesus Christ, perhaps like myself you need to change how you look at your fiery trials and not to be surprised by them but instead to rejoice in Jesus in the midst of them. And if you are not a Christ follower, may you repent of your sins, believe He died on the cross for you and was raised from the dead and that He is Lord, and give your heart and life utterly to Him, and may you, too, even in your greatest trials, know the infinite and un-surpassing love and joy of the Lord!