Friday, May 19, 2017

Those Pesky, Fiery Trials

Encouragement for your daily walk with God 

Encouraging words are vital as we strive for godliness during times of trials, temptations and suffering. The Apostle Peter wrote to early Christ followers about such trials and he called those saints “beloved.” The term beloved is encouraging in that it conveys tenderness and concern for those struggling with their difficulties. It captures the idea of what Peter would later say, “And above all things have fervent love for one another, for love will cover a multitude of sins” [1 Peter 4.8]

Most likely, the Christ followers of Peter’s day were a lot like us — tempted to be discouraged and doubt God’s love in their trials. Remember, Peter wrote his letters during a time of severe persecution under Nero. So, his letters were sent out to reassure his beloved of God’s love for them.  

Peter used the term fiery ordeal, which may refer trials that come for a purpose. When translating the Old Testament into Greek, fiery referred to a furnace used to refine metal from unwanted elements. The Psalmist painted the picture for us, “For You have tried us, O God; You have refined us as silver is refined” [Psalm 66.10]. In other words, fiery trials represents those sufferings that God allows us to experience for the purpose of purification. 

Fiery ordeals should not be considered as out of the ordinary or a strange thing to Christ followers. So, don’t be surprised when they come your way. They will come your way! And it won’t simply be by chance that they arrive. Sure, they may catch us off guard at times, but we can deal with them because we know we are the beloved of God. 

There’s confidence in knowing that God’s loving care for us never fails. We are certain of His love for us, no matter how unexpected or difficult any trial might be.

Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal among you, which comes upon you for your testing, as though some strange thing were happening to you. 1 Peter 4.12

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