Friday, June 7, 2019

Sometimes trials are necessary.

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God's power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.  In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.  Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory… 1 Peter 1:3-8
When bad things happen, Peter reminds us that they can be a time of growth, even when it feel like utter destruction to our lives.   When trials come, we can choose whether we will become bitter, or allow ourselves to grow through it and become better.  
Two things Peter reminds us about the trials of our faith:
Sometimes trials are necessary.
Sometimes the genuineness of our faith needs to be tested. Trials present the unique opportunity in our lives to practice what we preach.  It is easy to talk the talk but when you are walking through the fire, the true test comes.  The lessons of humility and compassion are never fully learned in the absence of suffering.  Some mistakenly believe that being a Christian should exempt them from all trials and hardships in life.  God did not call us to easy things.  He called us to hard and holy things and only by His power we can persevere.  Any suffering we experience provides the opportunity for our faith to grow and for God to use it to make us stronger and more adamant in our faith.  
Trials are distressing.
The Bible says Jesus was exceedingly sorrowful and in agony as He prayed in the garden. Can you imagine Peter saying to Jesus, "I know it seems tough, but it will all work out for the best." Trials are distressing. It’s okay to pour your heart out and let your desires be known to God. We are called to bear one another’s burdens, not blow them off as if they were trivial. Again, the reason why we need suffering is to learn this lesson.
Peter assures us that when bad things happen, God is present even though we cannot see Him – or feel Him. And even though we don’t see Him we love Him, and He loves us far more in return.  Sometimes in the midst of pain, it is not so easy to remember that. Pain can overshadow our faith in Him if we let it.  
Faith is the "the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen" (Heb. 11:1).Jesus promised He would always be with us (Mt. 28:20). God has promised He will never leave us nor forsake us (Heb. 13:5). The pain we feel does not equal the absence of God.  When bad things happen, and God seems absent, we must remember that the only thing that can separate us from God is sin. If we turn to God, He will turn to us. Our unseen Savior is always there to deliver us, and always walking beside us, every moment of our lives, both good and bad.  
Peter ends this section with the promise that the road of suffering will end at the right place - obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls. v 9 Jesus said, "I am the way, the truth, and the life."We must trust that Jesus can lead us down the way that is best for us and trust that the way He leads us will bring us to heaven with Him.  

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