Have you ever been surprised by something odd recently? Peter says not to be surprised at the fiery ordeal among us, the fiery trials which come upon us to examine us, as if some strange thing is happening to us (I Pet. 4:12). Yet we understand why he warned us not to be surprised because it seems that’s always our trend. “What is going on?” We cry. “Where did that come from?”
No one enjoys hard times. And life can holiness def sometimes be quite challenging, even for Christians. Peter goes on to say that we should rejoice to the degree that we discuss the sufferings of Christ, in other words, being reviled for the name of Jesus, persecuted for righteousness sake (I Pet. 4:13-16). And really, if we are walking in the perfect will of God, this is the only kind of anguish that we should endure. After all, Jesus’ sacrifice of 33 and a half years comprised every sort of suffering that Satan brings upon us such as sickness, rejection, the result of curses, including the curse of poverty over the last day of his lifetime. He had been a substitutionary sacrifice for us. He suffered in our place so we do not have to suffer these attacks of Satan. The fact, however, is that we don’t always walk in God’s perfect will. Sometimes we suffer due to a lack of knowledge.
One of our pastors in Africa simply lost his daughter from passing. This is among the most significant trials parents could face. But God’s promise is that no test will be too great for us to bear since He is always with us (I Cor. 10:13). Even if we find ourselves reluctant to walk to get a charm throughout the valley of the shadow of death, we could reach out for the hands of our Shepherd Jesus to lead us through that valley. His rod and His staff do indeed comfort us (Psalm 23).
No matter what we go through, He promised he would always be there as Yahovah Shammah. He’d never leave us or forsake us, even when it seemed like He did (Heb. 13:5). It’s in those times of fiery trials which we realize our God who is Love is more concerned with our sacred character that will endure eternally than with the simplicity we may experience in a trouble-free life. Not he brings the flame upon us directly. Satan does that. But God is the general orchestrator of the practice of purification that outcomes.