“Dear friends, do not be surprised at the painful trial you are suffering, as though something strange were happening to you.” (1 Peter 4:12)
The Bible tells us: “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” (vv. 12-13). In “The Message”, Eugene Peterson paraphrases Peter’s words: “Friends, when life gets really difficult, don’t jump to the conclusion that God isn’t on the job. Instead, be glad that you are in the very thick of what Christ experienced. This is a spiritual refining process, with glory just around the corner.” Times of testing feel “strange”, but they are normal and necessary! They are how you grow in grace. They are how God equips and prepares you to do great things in His kingdom. God never tempts us, but He most assuredly tests us. And His tests measure us, reveal us, strengthen our faith, purify us, and cause us to grow spiritually. To quote the apostle Paul: “Every detail works to your advantage and to God’s glory: more and more grace, more and more people, more and more praise!” So we‘re not giving up. How could we!
Even though on the outside it often looks like things are falling apart on us, on the inside, where God is making new life, not a day goes by without his unfolding grace (2 Corinthians 4:15-17). If you could see the blessing that’s waiting for you on the other side of this fiery trial, you’d cancel your pity party and start planning your promotion party.
Heavenly Father, help me understand that being tested is a good thing to make me better and stronger! In Jesus’ Name, Amen.