“Dear friends, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that has come on you to test you, as though something strange was happening to you.” 1st Peter 4:12.
Living in this world every day requires a lasting and enduring hope. We hear the saying, “think positively”. Certainly, it is a good idea to avoid negative thinking. However, you and I need more than ‘positive thinking’ because you can think positively and still arrive at hopelessness. Just a positive mindset would not be the answer to the issues, heartaches, and problems we all face. We need something to look forward and that something must be real and completely trustworthy. That something must be a happy ending and joy-filled.
When the Bible says put your hope in God, the reason is God has something praiseworthy, joyful to look forward with no shadow of a doubt for his child. Through all your issues, heartaches and problems, God is preparing you for His cause. Besides, He prepares for a wonderful and glorious future in heaven with Him forever.
This is what our insight reminds us of today. Listen, “Dear friends, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that has come on you to test you, as though something strange was happening to you.”
Life has thrown something bad at you unexpectedly. And you think man, something strange happened to you, don’t you? You say my world has collapsed on me. However, the Bible says do not be surprised when bad things happen. It may be a surprise and strange matter to you. However, it was not a surprise to God. It is meant to be tested on you. You may not like the test but God gives tests like school children get tests in school. God allows testing to see if you would pass the test. Students know a test is required to get promoted to the next grade, don’t they? God tests you to prepare you for Him and joy-filled eternity with Him. Therefore, nothing should surprise you if you are a believer in Jesus Christ. It is easy to say than to put it in practice, I know. Remember, first of all, you are in God’s hand safe and secure. Second of all, what is going to last forever is not the fiery ordeal you face now, but your joy and glory with Him forever.
Amid all the fiery ordeals, it is not the positive thinking that is going to get your through. It is the unshakable hope in the Lord and His promises. Verse 13 says to rejoice when you participate in such God approved sufferings. Why? Strange as it sounds like, however, because when you come out of the test victorious, the Bible says you would be joy-filled or overjoyed at the shining greatness of the glory of God. You would see God at his greatest shining and glory, provided you stay faithful to Him. Is it possible to rejoice? It is possible if you have the assurance of the result.
Beloved, your issues prepare you to see God’s shining glory and greatness in a brand new fashion. Besides, your testing or trials will prove your faith and hope in Him is genuine, and not fake. Some people are inclined to throw away their precious faith in the Lord even at the outset of fiery ordeals. That shows their faith in the Lord was not genuine. If your faith and trust in the Lord are genuine, you would come out of it purified like gold. And when your faith stays strong through your trials, not only you will be overwhelmed with the joy of God’s great greatness and glory but also you will receive much praise, glory, and honor. Both of these two things happened at the fiery ordeals Joseph and Daniel faced.
The enduring hope that pulls you through is the truth that God gets you ready for the next grade in faith life, to see His shining greatness, to receive praise and glory, eternity with Him and future wonderful rewards. Now, do you think tests and trials could very well be a matter of rejoicing?
“Father in heaven, If you sovereignly hand-picked, custom made my test and trails, I do not need to surprise and feel weighed down. Help me pass the test victoriously with your help. I lean on you Lord for your love, help, and deliverance. I look and wait upon you until the fiery ordeals run its full course. I know I am safe in your loving and all-powerful hand. May I live by faith and not by sight in these times. In the name of Jesus Christ, I pray. Amen.”