Too Close for Comfort
That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ: ~1 Peter 1:7
Peter was writing to fellow believers whose lives and families were turned upside down by opposition to their faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. The Christian faith had become hated and considered to be an enemy of Rome. These believers had to forsake their homes, jobs, and families in order to avoid being persecuted. Things were very difficult. They were going through what Peter described as “the trial of your faith.” Their trials were too close for comfort. They felt unsafe and unsure. Peter gives them and us a strong word of encouragement when things in our life are too close for comfort.
There is the fiery grief.
A trial is when we go through a time of intense difficulty, pressure, setback, and trouble. It is when we do not have answers for the problems in our life. Peter describes a trial as being in heaviness. Our heart and soul feel an intense weight on our shoulders. We feel like it is more than we can bear. He, then, describes trials as manifold temptations. These believers had more than one trial going on. It’s one thing to deal with one setback, but to have two or more going on at the same time can be tough. Recently, my wife’s family had two aunts pass away within days of each other. Our church also has several precious members going through very difficult health trials, resulting in many uncertainties. Peter calls these fiery trials. When you go through a trial, you can feel the heat. Like these first-century believers, we will go through trials that become a fiery grief.
There is the faithful gaze.
Even though we go through a trial, we never go through it alone! Just as three Hebrew young men were cast into a fiery furnace and there was a fourth Man with them, this fourth Man, the Lord Jesus, is with us in all of our trials. We must remember that it is our faith that is being tried. Without trials, our faith cannot grow. Without trials, we cannot experience God’s grace being sufficient for us. When fiery trials come our way, we realize that we must look to the Lord. Peter said, “Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory.” Faith is seeing the invisible. We must faithfully get our eyes on Jesus! Though we have not seen Him, we love Him! Jesus is never nearer to us than when we are in a fiery trial. Our love for Jesus is stronger in a trial because the fire of a trial burns away the dross of sin that has blinded us. I like what Peter said: "yet believing"! That’s the faith that God blesses! We cannot see past the moment, "yet believing"! The setbacks are not what we hoped for, "yet believing"! There might be added darkness, "yet believing"!
There is the future glory.
The trial of our faith is designed for our future glory. God wants us to excel through a trial so that our faith might be found unto praise, honor, and glory at the appearing of our Lord Jesus. God does not want us to end up as a shipwrecked Christian: He wants us to be found faithful to His glory. So, what about this life? The pain and heartache of a trial is still there. Well, when our eyes are on the Lord, our perspective on the trial is changed. It is when we let go and let God work through us that we experience joy unspeakable and full of glory. Spurgeon said, “Fiery trials make golden Christians.”
The trial that you are going through might be too close for comfort. However, get your eyes on the Lord, and let Him take you through this one step and thought at a time. Trials are part of the growth process. Have faith in God, no matter what they are!
Have a faith-filled God morning!
Bible Reading Schedule: Psalms 32-35