by Pastor Mark Jordan
“In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.” (1 Peter 1:6-7, NIV)
So how are you doing in making your experience of life different? We know now that Jesus Christ is the One who makes life different, and through the gift of His love, God is preparing you for an eternity in heaven with Him. God gives glimpses of heaven when you faithfully do life with the people He’s given to do it with. This can make all the difference for you right now, even when it doesn’t feel like life is cooperating.
Peter was very clear in his writing that following Jesus does not prevent anyone from having to suffer grief and all kinds of trials. This is hard for many to swallow, because we want our faith to inoculate us against difficulty. It doesn’t. What faith does do, however, is give a new perspective…a different perspective through the transformation of a renewed mind…that the worst thing that happens to you can never be the last thing that happens. As sure as you will experience troubles in this world, you surely have the love and grace of God to deliver you from them.
God doesn’t inflict suffering on anyone. He doesn’t. What He does do, though, is use those times in your life to strengthen your faith and draw you closer to Him. Peter gives us the illustration of a goldsmith refining the precious metal by carefully smelting it over a flame to burn off the impurities. The goldsmith knows that the process is finished when he can see his reflection in the liquid gold.
If you feel like you’re experiencing the heat of life right now, there is a message in that illustration. God is holding you, and even shielding you as we read in verse 5. God is carefully removing the impurities from your life to prove your faith pure. It might not be comfortable…it rarely ever is…but it’s always worth it! For even though gold is precious, it is temporary. Your eternal soul is not. God wants to prepare you for heaven, and He works on that process ever so carefully and deliberately.
So, if you find yourself going through a difficult time right now, know there is a purpose in the face of it. God is preparing you for an eternity with Him! He is holding you and shielding you until He can see His reflection in your life. May this prove that your hope lives and your faith in genuine, because Jesus will be revealed, and with Him, the blessing of eternity.
Prayer: Dear Lord, thank you for your care and concern to hold and shield me, even in the times I must face the fires of life. Even though I do not want the struggles, I do want my faith to be proven pure. So I trust you, and want to be held by you and shielded by you so your image may be revealed in me. I ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen.