Be Still Know
1 Peter 1.6-7 NLT
‘Be truly glad. There is wonderful joy ahead, even though you must endure many trials for a little while. These trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold—though your faith is far more precious than mere gold.’
Let’s not play games. Hard times are hard. Nobody likes going through difficulties or facing challenges. To have to endure violent persecution, such as Peter’s readers experienced, must have been incredibly difficult. Peter wasn’t glad about the trials they were facing, but about the outcome from going through such times. He knew that the persecution that they were enduring not only proved the reality of their faith, but would have the effect of refining them and making them even stronger in their Christian lives.
I find it fascinating that gold has been highly prized for thousands of years. The world has changed out of all recognition over that time, but gold continues to be eagerly sought after and over the past couple of challenging years we have seen its price rise enormously. And the crucial question with gold is its purity. In the UK this is regulated by the Assay Offices and the one in London was founded in the year 1300. Their task is to ensure that the gold is absolutely pure and, if it is, then they impress it with a hallmark. Peter reminded his readers that their faith was immeasurably more valuable than any gold. Gold may glitter and impress for a while but it doesn’t endure in the way that faith does.
If you are going through a difficult time at the moment, I don’t want to make light of that experience. I feel for you and trust that you will find the strength to face whatever the challenge might be. But Peter would want to say to you that you should be glad that no experience is ever lost when it is placed in God’s hands. As you walk with him through your difficulties, God will strengthen and protect you, and as you lean on him your faith will become even stronger. The refining of your faith may well be very painful, but God will use it to help you to grow as a Christian.
Question: What has God taught you through the difficulties that you have had to face?
Prayer: Loving Father, thank you that you are always with us and that you use the challenges of life to strengthen us. Amen
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