“You rejoice in this, though now for a short time you have had to be distressed by various trials, so that the genuineness of your faith – more valuable than gold, which perishes though refined by fire – may result in praise, glory, and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.” 1 Peter 1:6-8 HCSB
It is always important to look forward, especially when we are in the middle of difficult circumstances. If we get hemmed in with the fears of the present and are not able to shift our thinking to the “always more,” discouragement will be right around the corner for us. So Peter, being led by the understanding of the Spirit, begins to address their present unpleasantness.
We all would desire that evil and negative things would not happen in our lives. Yet, these are the very items that are used to help us become mature and tried saints in the Kingdom. The folk in the provinces that Peter was addressing were undergoing many trials. Life was tough and they needed to look ahead, and they also needed to know that what they were living through was going to be used to benefit them and the Kingdom.
Words are easy, but circumstances sometimes unravel us. There is no condemnation in the Kingdom – period! However, we can feel condemned when we know we want to crumble instead of believe the Lord in His gracious and merciful abundance in all things. So Peter, like a good shepherd, begins to encourage them.
He states that their faith, and ours, is more precious than gold. WOW! Just think about that for a moment or two. The faith that the Lord gave us when we first believed (Romans 12:3) is a substance (Hebrews 11:1) more precious to the Lord than gold. He has given to us everything for life and godliness (2 Peter 1:3). So since He has trusted us with it, must be that the Holy Spirit means to empower us in it – even as it is undergoing difficulty being refined in fire.
So as we learn to lean, once again, into His ability and not our own – His faith (given to us in our being) and not our own – we begin to realize there is more yet ahead, and nothing is lost in the long run.
Let’s be encouraged today and allow the Lord to be sufficient for us in all. Sometimes that is easy to do, sometimes we just do it because there is nothing else we can do. Regardless, we lean; He works. Awesome!