"Fiery Trials" Really?
Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that comes upon you [it’s no surprise] to test you as though something strange were happening to you [it’s not strange]. Rejoice insofar as you share Christ’s sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad at his glory. (1 Peter 4:12)
What a lousy way to start your day. Being told to, "cheer up" in light of "fiery trials" doesn't seem to be an excerpt from a morning devotional book with a sunrise on the front and small flower pictures on every other page. It's not, really. It is a promise from God.
For it has been granted to you that for your sake, you should not only believe but suffer.
Dadgummit. If I trust Him to be God, I have to trust that His words are true. I'm going to suffer. But then, while we are suffering, we should give thanks to God for the fiery trial and it's affect on our eternal character. Then we rejoice.
I have gotten really comfortable over the years in my affluent western Christianity. I like being able to turn on the faucet and having hot or cold, clean water at my whim. I like being able to entertain myself at will in a thousand different ways. I much prefer the shot or the pill to eliminate symptoms rather than waiting for the discomfort to run it's course...
Bingo, the trigger for getting me thinking about this. I have poison ivy. REALLY BAD CASE! And I can't have the shot because of another medical issue that is closely related to the lifestyle referred to in the previous paragraph. I have pre-hypertension and as a result, I get to let my poison ivy run it's course. As I sit here and try not to scratch, I think about what early Christians went through, and what Christians in other countries that are antagonistic toward Christians go through
and I realize that I owe it to them to seek opportunities to endure the "fiery trials" so I may rejoice in sharing in Christ's sufferings.
Oh how I hope my life is not wasted. Lord let me glory in You and rejoice in the tiny suffering that I get to endure.