1 Peter 1:6-9 ESV
“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, obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls.”
What kinds of trials are you presently being called upon to endure for the sake of the name of Jesus and for the sake of his gospel and/or for the testing of the genuineness of your faith in Jesus Christ? They can be little trials or medium size ones or humongous ones, for they are all still trials which test our faith.
There are trials that many of us may all be going through right now which share commonality with others, and then we may have trials which are specific to just us, that are unique to our specific situations, even if, in a general sense, they may be similar in nature to the trials of others.
On a large scale, the world, as a whole (pretty much) has been going through about 20 months of a world crisis which has had many different variations to it, and which has had multiple viewpoints expressed as to the source of it and as to the solution for how to resolve it. And it does seem to be a moving target, and so there is much confusion about it.
The crisis situation, no matter how we got there, or no matter who did what when and where is still a crisis situation we are all sharing together. We may be sharing it at all different levels of severity both in the crisis situation itself and in the recommended or even forced solutions, but we are all in this together in one way or another, and we are all suffering in some way from it.
As we are being called upon to go through this together, in one way or another, we all have decisions we have to make regarding what is for our own good and the good of our own families, and not everyone is going to come to the same conclusions, and that may generate conflict among people, so that is another trial in itself.
All this has had its economic impact on people’s lives, and some people have lost their homes and their incomes and their careers as a result of the crisis itself or as a result of the decisions they have made for themselves and for their families in response to some of the recommended or even forced solutions. And that is definitely a trial that will test the faith of believers in Jesus Christ.
And then there have been people who have become ill and/or who have died as a result of the crisis. And then there have been people with adverse reactions to some of the solutions being offered or forced, also resulting in illness, injury, and some reported deaths. And so this is also a trial which is testing the faith of believers in Jesus Christ as they seek God to know what is right for them and for their families.
At a Crossroads
We, as the people of this world, and we, as followers of Jesus Christ appear to be at a crossroads right now in the world and in the direction that things appear to be headed, but not everyone agrees on that, either. Not even all Christians agree on the direction we are headed and what we are to do about it as followers of Jesus Christ.
This is a lot like that song that never ends but it just keeps going on and on with more verses being added regularly to extend it. Things just keep changing and it appears that there is no end in sight, for first it was one thing and then another and we really don’t know from one day to the next what it will be today and if today will be different from tomorrow.
So, this is one of those humongous trials which is trying the faith of those who profess faith in Jesus Christ, and it will either prove their faith (our faith) to be genuine or it will expose it as a fraud. But hopefully those who see that their faith was not genuine faith which saves will then realize what must happen for them to have genuine faith in Jesus Christ.
Genuine Faith in Jesus
And hopefully those who have come to that realization will surrender their hearts and lives to Jesus Christ in dying with Christ to sin and in living to Christ and to his righteousness in the power of God. For, our faith is not just words. It is action. It is putting into practice what we say we believe.
We must walk according to the Spirit and not according to the flesh. We must not practice sin, but righteousness must be what we practice. We must walk in obedience to our Lord’s commands and not live in willful disobedience in deliberate and habitual sin. For, to love God is to obey him, and it is to forsake our sins and to submit to his Lordship over our lives.
For, our salvation will not be complete until Jesus returns. The outcome of our faith is the salvation of our souls, and faith is divine persuasion as to God’s will for our lives. So, we must walk in the light as he is in the light, and we must be saying “No!” to ungodliness and fleshly lusts, and we must be living self-controlled, upright, and godly lives while we wait for our Lord’s return.
This is not saying that we will be perfect or that we will never sin, but the Scriptures teach that if sin is our practice, our habit, our “go to” on a consistent and habitual basis, being engaged in sin deliberately, and knowingly defying the Lord and refusing to obey him, then we will not inherit eternal life with God no matter what we confess with our lips.
So, let the trials of your life teach you what the Lord wants you to learn. Let him show you if your faith is genuine or not or if you need pruning and purifying in particular areas of your life. Then surrender it all to the Lord, seek his counsel, and then obey him in whatever he shows you. But just know he is not going to show you something contrary to his word.
[Lu 9:23-26; Jn 6:35-58; Jn 15:1-11; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17; Eph 4:17-24; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6; 1 Pet 2:24; 1 Co 6:9-10, 19-20; 2 Co 5:10, 15; Gal 5:16-21; Eph 5:3-6; Gal 6:7-8; Rom 2:6-8; Tit 2:11-14; 1 Jn 3:4-10; Eph 2:8-10; Heb 12:1-2; Jn 6:44]
Praise You in This Storm
Mark Hall and Bernie Herms
I was sure by now, God You would have reached down
and wiped our tears away,
stepped in and saved the day.
But once again, I say amen
and it’s still raining
as the thunder rolls
I barely hear You whisper through the rain,
“I’m with you”
and as Your mercy falls
I raise my hands and praise
the God who gives and takes away.
And I’ll praise you in this storm
and I will lift my hands
for You are who You are
no matter where I am
and every tear I’ve cried
You hold in your hand
You never left my side
and though my heart is torn
I will praise You in this storm
I lift my eyes unto the hills
where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord, the maker of heaven and earth
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