Sunday, May 5, 2019

1 Peter 1:7 -- On Valuable Trials

"That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:"
1 Peter 1:7

I really like the idea that our trials are more precious than gold.  Usually, you know, we hate them and value them about as much as we value garbage.  And I have no idea if we can learn to love them, but perhaps we can learn to understand their value. :) 

If we imagine a life with no trials (and look past that initial feeling of relief), I think that most of us would see our lives stagnate, never really going anywhere, because we don't have the impetus to change things.  Trials give us that motivation to learn and change.

I think trials also strengthen our faith.  At first, of course, they challenge it, kind of like the story of Job... exploring the question of whether we will still believe and remain faithful when things go wrong rather than right.  But when we make it through the trial and see that our trust in God was fully justified, it helps us to be stronger for the next trial.

Trials build our confidence, not just in God, but in ourselves.  They help us know who we are, and they help us to realize that we are stronger than we thought we were, and that we can handle whatever the world throws at us.

I don't know about you guys, but personally, I only like learning the easy lessons.  Whenever things get hard, I'm ready to quit and move on to something else.  Can you imagine if I actually got to just do that?  I would never have learned my multiplication tables, never learned to drive, never gone on a mission, never graduated from college... and so many other things that were hard... relationships, jobs, moving, etc.  I can't even imagine what my life would be right now because I had to face those hard things and learn them, and sometimes even get good at them enough to not hate them anymore. :)  We don't often think of where we would be without our trials, but considering mine today, I'm ready to admit that my trials are way more precious than gold.  You can't buy the difference between who I am and who I would have been without them.

Today, let's do that thought experiment and imagine who we would be without our trials.  I think that we'll find that our trials, even though they were hard and we likely hated them, gave us experience and strength that we wouldn't want to give up.  Let's remember that the same is true for the trials that we are going through right now.  They are also precious.  Let's work with God to figure out what we can learn from them, and move forward, becoming even more amazing than we are now, because of our trials.

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