Processing 1 Peter 4:12-19
This morning in my journible of 1 Peter 4, I wrote out the following verse.
"Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal among you, which comes upon you for your testing, as though some strange things were happening to you." (1 Peter 4:12)
Fiery ordeals abound.
As I write this, Texas and Louisiana are still recovering from the devastating effects of hurricane Harvey. Irma, a category 5 hurricane is threatening other parts of the US. Destroying everything in their path are the wildfires out West.
At the same time these fiery ordeals make the headlines, I have friends and family who are burying and grieving the loss of loved ones, facing death due to illness or age, battling significant health issues, emotionally distraught from a variety of life events, and on the list could go.
Indeed, fiery ordeals abound.
According to the word study tools found on http://biblestudytools.com, fiery ordeal means:
- the burning by which metals are roasted and reduced
- by a figure drawn from a refiners fire
- calamities or trials that test the character
I probably didn't need to define fiery ordeal, but you can't just read 1 Peter 4:12 and keep going. It boggles the mind and fills you with the need to break it down so you can actually get your mind around it.
You see, I seem to forget that I'm not supposed to be surprised when fiery ordeals come. Oh my goodness, I seem to always be surprised by fiery ordeals as though some strange thing were happening to me. In the fog of fiery, I forget that the ordeal is testing my character and testing my very faith. I say I believe many things about my God and my life but it is only as I am being roasted and reduced that my faith is proven real and genuine. Again, in the fiery fog, I lose sight of this very profound truth.
Fiery ordeals can easily overwhelm human strength and emotion. Watching others bear up and endure fiery because of their faith, brings hope and courage to me and I am sure to you. When I see people in Houston who have lost everything and are standing in a shelter singing praises to God, my heart is filled with strength and courage. Genuine and real faith at any time but especially during a fiery trial is a beautiful thing. Here's what Peter said earlier...
"In this you greatly rejoice, even though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been distressed by various trials, so that the proof of your faith, being more precious than gold which is perishable, even though tested by fire, may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ." (1 Peter 1:6-7)
Our faith in Jesus is more precious than gold.
As I ponder with the Lord these verses this morning, my prayer for those of us who love Jesus and are in or facing fiery ordeals would be that our faith would be proven real and genuine and result in praise, glory, and honor to Jesus. May we keep entrusting our souls to our faithful Creator and do what is right and excellent. For those who do not yet know or love Jesus, I pray that as they witness the real and genuine faith of us who know and love Jesus, they would be drawn and won to Christ.
Using Peter's words in 1 Peter 5:10, I pray that during your fiery ordeals, the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself perfect, confirm, strengthen and establish you.
PS. I know the context of these verses speaks specifically of fiery ordeals that come as a result of identifying with Christ, but I believe the principles I'm sharing about what trials produce can be found throughout Scripture.