April 19, 2018
READ: 1 Peter 1:1-9
So be truly glad. There is wonderful joy ahead, even though you must endure many trials for a little while (v.6).
I know you have a plan, God, but why does it hurt so much? I closed my eyes and flopped onto my bunk bed in my dorm room. It was my final semester in university, and it wasn’t going as I had hoped. I was busier than I wanted to be, and two of my closest friends were battling depression while others were also struggling.
I opened my eyes to find myself staring at index cards with Bible verses written on them. At the beginning of the school year, I had taped them to the ceiling in the shape of a cross to remind myself of God’s love and promises. But I’m sad to admit I had hardly taken time to read them.
That day, however, I scanned them for help until my eyes landed on Peter’s words to suffering believers. “So 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” (1 Peter 1:6-7).
In those verses, Peter compared tested faith to gold refined by fire. This precious metal has to be melted at more than 1,000 degrees Celsius for the impurities to separate and rise to the surface so they can be scraped off.
Trials are similar in that our faith is refined by them. They help our impurities rise to the surface to be removed. As with fire, the heat of trials can be very painful; yet they are also what prove our faith to be genuine and “will bring [us] much praise and glory and honour on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world” (v.7).
When trials press into us, we can be glad knowing that—as painful as they are, and even when we can’t see it—God is using them to grow and perfect our faith.
365-day plan: 1 Kings 18:16-46
Read Psalm 34:19-20 and consider how God is with us in our trials.
What are you going through right now that might be refining you? How can you rejoice even when it hurts?