unto you” 1 Peter 4:12
Have you been trying to figure out why so many trials keep coming your way; fiery trials with tribulations so severe you wonder whether you and Job are kinsmen? You look around and see so many people prospering who are sworn enemies of God; people who have no reference of the Gospel; and, those who have consciously decided that, not only do they not believe in God, but that God does not exist.
You go to work, and work harder than most, but somehow your job is the one in jeopardy. Your money is short every month, and your bills are high; your family is crazy or almost there; and your love life is on the lam or on the rocks. Meanwhile, you are purposely keeping the faith, reading your Bible, and praying until your knees are black and blue. You wonder to yourself if you are doing something wrong.
No one ever told you that when you became a Christian life was going to be so difficult. Had you known, maybe you would have made a different decision. Those Christians you met early on were so happy for you when you decided to allow Jesus into your life, it never occurred to you to ask questions. So, you were baptized and happily changed your lifestyle. Were they fooling you? Now, it is just one thing after another; and, you feel like running away and not looking back. Before, it was easier to do your own thing without any remorse, without any anxieties about insulting God. Sounds familiar?
Imagine for a moment being one of the first Christians after the resurrection of Jesus. Not an Apostle, but a Believer who converted simply because he or she believed. Imagine their persistent determination under the constant threat of the Sanhedrin and other early persecutors. Consider their bravery in the face of daily persecution, opposition, and threats. Yet, they still believed. At least today, no matter what you are going through, you have a powerful brotherhood/ sisterhood whom you can openly go to for replenishment in the face of adversity.
Today’s verse refers to the fiery trials; the trials we go through to build our resolve. —Concentrated trials used to determine what kind of Christians we are going to be. —The kind who runs at the first sign of trouble, or the one that stands up for righteousness for His Name sake? —The kind who reverts to old habits or the one that holds fast to faith, understanding that Jesus will never forsake those who love Him?
The fiery trials will come, it is up to you whether it destroys you or empowers you; propels you to cast your Bible down, or prompts you to hold your Bible high. It is not easy being a Christian, but Beloved, it never was. L.
Study Reference: 1 Peter 4:12-14
From: "Strange Occurrences." In The Master's Hands: 365 Daily Devotions for Everyday Living.
Copyright © 2014 by Lavona E. Campbell
photo: Martin Bernetti/ Calbuco Volcano, Puerto Montt, Chile