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1 Peter 1:6-7
Friday, September 30 2011

Tested by Fire...

Peter tells us the reason and meaning behind our trials:

"In this you rejoice, although now for a little while you may have to suffer through various trials, so that the genuineness of your faith, more precious than gold that is perishable even though tested by fire, may prove to be for praise, glory, and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ."  -1 Peter 1:6-7, NAB

Today's verse should bring you comfort amidst any trials or suffering that you may be going through.  When we are faced with trials, some feel that they are being punished, or that they have done something displeasing to God in some way.  However, we may be facing trials to test and prove the fullness of our faith.  Our ability to overcome proves how genuine our faith truly is.

Some preachers will teach you that God will deliver you from all of your trials to a more abundant life.  They tell you that the Lord will remove you from all of your suffering, but this is not always the case.  When we look back at the stories of many saints, they faced trials that lasted their entire lives.  Generally, they were not chosen to be canonized as saints for their abundant lives.  Instead, they were chosen to be saints because of the pain and suffering they endured and the strength of their faith despite the difficulties they faced.

It is often said that a leader should not ask anyone to do something that they are not willing to do themselves.  In that way, Christ came down to allow Himself to be purified and tested by the trials and sufferings of this life.  He came to be an example for us, and it was His primary mission here on earth.  Christ took up His cross freely, and He asks us to do the same.  By picking up our cross and going through the refiner's fire, we are showing the true depth and strength of our faith.

Refining gold involves a process of heating it up until it is molten, and then the impurities can be removed.  This same process applies to our lives.  We are refined by the fires of our sufferings so that the impurities in our lives can be removed.  This process leaves us more pure and "more precious than gold."  So, as you face your own personal trials, do not always pray simply to be removed from them, but pray that Christ may purify you through them.

Our life here on earth may be filled with many trials and sufferings, but that is only so we can be refined and purified for when we stand before God on judgment day.

 

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