1 Peter 4:12-13 1 minutes to read

1 Peter 4:12-13

Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. 13 But rejoice insofar as you share Christ's sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed.

It’s curious to note the adjective that Peter uses to describe their trial… “fiery”. The reason the Christian’s were fleeing in exile was because the Roman Emperor, for political and personal reasons, had literally set fire to Rome and was blaming the Christians. He would also make human torches out of Christians when entertaining his palace guests. Their trials were literally “fiery”.

Notice he refers to their trials as “tests” that come “upon you”. This requires us to see trials from two perspectives. On one hand, trials come upon us from purposes of evil by the evil one who desires to destroy us, and our testimony, for Christ. On the other hand, the root word in TESTimony is “test”. Your testimony is your story about a test that is brought upon you by God, for your good and his glory.

Understanding that these two forces are in play during a fiery test is critical to handling it well and presenting a positive testimony to the greatness and goodness of God.

Reflection

Ponder a trial that you are currently going through or have recently experienced. How does seeing it as a test of your faith adjust your understanding of the difficulty?

Prayer

God, in the midst of a fiery trial it is not natural for me to think of it in any positive way. Help me not to pretend it’s not a negative experience but with it, help me see there is a positive purpose in my trial as my faith is tested by fire to prove its great worth. May I give you glory by how I manage my trial knowing the world needs to see how to deal with problems in ways that don’t destroy us but develop us into better, not bitter people.