A few Sundays ago I began preaching through the book of First Peter. The text for this morning was 1 Peter 1:6-9. Verses 6 and 7 say this:
"In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ."
As heat is applied to gold to remove its impurities and bring out its brilliance so too do various kinds of things come into our lives that refine our faith.
The range of trials can be very wide, from things that may be no more than annoyances, to things that make wounds in our hearts that are deep and very painful. Peter is helping us to see that in God's plan these things can be used for our good and His glory. They refine our faith. They remove the impurities and imperfections of our hearts so that we can more fully see, and show to the world around us, the glory of God.
We don't seek out trials in our lives, and we would avoid them entirely if we possibly could. But they happen. And as they happen there is a place for God to be at work in us.
The next time you become aware that you are in some sort of trial or testing, may you also seek to see and understand how that situation may be used by God to refine your faith, a faith that is more precious than gold. A faith will never perish. A faith that will one day bring you into the eternal and glorious presence of God.
Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.