Reading: “In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, 7 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.” 1 Peter 1:6-7
Most believers at some point in affliction or trouble have asked the question, ‘Why me?’ or ‘Why am I in this trouble?’ We could re-phrase the question and ask, “what is God’s purpose in bringing me into this trial?’ There is an answer.
Our faith is tried to prove it is real faith. Gold is a very precious commodity but it must be tested to prove its genuineness. Historically gold is tested by fire. It is heated to a very high temperature and as the gold melts the dross is removed and the pure gold is left behind. The gold is put to the test in order to prove it is gold. In a similar way our faith is tried to prove that it is real faith.
Our faith is tried to strengthen us in our walk with God. Trials are not sent to destroy us, but to establish us. The trials that we meet with in this life are to strengthen us and encourage us. It is said of the great cedar trees of Lebanon that the more they are battered by the wind, the deeper they send their roots. So it is in the Christian life. The trials that God sends are designed to establish us more and more in the faith.
Our faith is often tried so that we might examine ourselves. There are times when God would have his people look inwardly. Self examination is an important part of the Christian life. Trials prompt and promote that kind of examination.
The trial of our faith sweetens our thoughts of eternity. Trials don’t last. They cannot last beyond time and therefore we should view them in the light of eternity! Paul viewed the trials that he faced in the light of the glory that he would enjoy with Christ. When I can’t understand the trial, let me at least trust God’s gracious work in my life.
“Trials…manifest that [our] hope is well grounded. That [we] are not taken up with words and notions, but have a real and sure support.” John Newton; (Works; 3:184)