Preaching Up on Jesus!
“6 So be truly glad.[
b] There is wonderful joy ahead, even though you have to endure many trials for a little while. 7 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. So when your faith remains strong through many trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world.”1 Peter 1:6-7 NLT
I love this passage! Peter is a real life preacher. He recognizes that persecution and problems will happen and are happening in the church. Peter doesn’t spend time on magnifying the problems however. He simply identifies problems and trials as tools that God uses to purify and test our faith.
It is worth recognizing that because it has such a great value, gold is worth purifying with fire. When gold is purified and tested by fire, we can be sure that it will be more durable and long lasting. Our faith in God, which Peter recognizes as far more precious than gold, is worth being purified through the problems we endure. In the end, Peter recognizes that a faith that goes through purification and testing will be much more durable and lasting than a faith that remains untested.
This is great and amazing news! I have dealt with feelings of guilt because of times that I have wrestled with my faith, and struggled with being obedient to the Lord. There have been times when I have felt alone and isolated because my faith in Him keeps me from doing things that others are quick to jump at.
Peter affirms me because he is not preaching down on the suffering that the people have to endure. He is preaching up on Jesus! Peter encourages me because he reminds me that while problems are big, God wants my faith to be bigger! He reminds me that through remaining faithful to Jesus may be challenging today it will produce strength, durability, and a long-lasting faith which will not fail.
Holy Spirit, it is in Jesus that I find salvation, grace, and forgiveness. It is in Your Holy Spirit that I find the power to overcome. May Your Spirit lead and empower me to take bold steps to endure the challenges that will refine and build my faith. Amen!