Wow! My heart was moved by the many comments left on yesterday’s post. Adversity comes in all forms and leaves no one untouched by its hand. I found myself praying for each of you and your circumstances. I felt compelled to continue our conversation on suffering. I hope today’s post will encourage you and shed more light on the topic as well.
In 1 Peter 1: 6-7, we come to understand a little about the positive side of suffering.
“In this greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trial. 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.”
This is the delightful irony of Christianity. Peter suggests in his opening statement that you and I can be joyful in the midst of trials. I talked about this in yesterday’s post using James 1:2-4. You and I can experience joy when we look to the end result of our suffering. What’s our suffering producing—Christ-like character.
Secondly, Peter goes on to say that our trails only last for a while.
“In this greatly rejoice, though for a little while.”
How do we endure the cold, flu infested months of winter? We endure because we know spring is coming. Likewise we can endure hard-times because they soon shall pass. Praise Jesus!
That’s not all. Peter also warns us that adversity is coming.
“If need be, you have been grieved by various trails.”
That means we can expect turbulent times. But somehow they always surprise us.
Finally, we discover that our trials have purpose. They prove the genuineness of our faith.
“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.”
Peter explains this process by contrasting our faith with pure gold. Of all the substances we have available to us, gold is the most imperishable. It can withstand intense heat. While gold does eventually perish through use, pressure, and fire, true faith is indestructible. A believer can go through intense fiery trails without having her faith destroyed. Instead, her trial becomes food for faith to feed on. And a strong, unwavering faith not only brings glory to God. It becomes a blessing to others as well.
It reminds me of this story…
A little piece of wood once complained bitterly because its owner kept whittling away at it, cutting it, and filling it with holes, but the one who was cutting it so persistently paid no attention to its complaining. He was making a flute out of that piece of ebony, and he was too wise to cease from doing so, even though the wood complained bitterly. He seemed to say, “little piece of wood, without these holes, and all this cutting, you would be a black stick for ever—just a useless piece of ebony. What I am doing now may make you think that I am destroying you, but, instead, I will change you into a flute, and your sweet music will charm souls and comfort many a sorrowing heart. My cutting you is the making of you, for only thus can you be a blessing in the world.”
Now for the winner of An Untroubled Heart…
Christine from Csierra!! Congrats, Christine!
Please email me at email@example.com with your mailing address.