219: The Strangest Thing Has Happened To Me...
“Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you” (1 Peter 4:12).
- Problems and difficulties are built right into the Christian life.
- Christians undergoing them are apt to think it very bewildering and strange.
“But let none of you suffer as a murderer, a thief, an evildoer, or as a busybody in other people’s matters...”
“In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ” (I Peter 1:6-7).
- Testings, trials, and fiery ordeals come to prove the genuineness of our faith, demonstrating its reality.
- The fires of life, warfare, and circumstances test us, but if we walk through them God’s way, we will bring praise, glory, and honor to the Lord.
“My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing” (James 1:2-4).
“For the joy that was set before Him [Jesus] endured the cross…” (Hebrews 12:2).
“But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing” (James 1:4).
In II Corinthians 1:8-11, we get an insight into some of Paul’s sufferings:
“But we do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, of our trouble which came to us in Asia: that we were burdened beyond measure, above strength, so that we despaired even of life. Yes, we had the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves but in God who raises the dead” (II Corinthians 1:8-9).
“Who delivered us from so great a death, and does deliver us; in whom we trust that He will still deliver us” (II Corinthians 1:10).
“But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us” (II Corinthians 4:7).
- God has placed His Treasure in vulnerable earthen vessels (“Christ in you, the hope of glory”: Colossians 1:27), so that the power that comes forth in our lives has to be of Him, and the glory goes to Him alone.
“We are hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed” (II Corinthians 4:8-9).