Believers can have hope even when suffering, because we have a permanent inheritance a secure home in heaven. And our place there is reserved under the safekeeping, under the constant, omnipotent surveillance of almighty God. Furthermore, He has guaranteed that we will receive our inheritance because we are “protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time (1 Peter 1:5). No disorder, no disease, not even death itself can weaken or threaten God’s ultimate protection over our lives. Our souls are divinely protected.
Suffering and trials are inevitable; as long as we live in a fallen world, where things don’t work according to God’s standard, we will face trials. However, nothing is beyond God’s control. Nothing comes to us that didn’t first pass through the fingers of God. And we have His promise that all things will be used for our ultimate good (Romans 8:28-39). Therefore, we have every reason to rejoice during our suffering.
“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.” (1 Peter 1:6-7)
These verses teach us three lessons about trials.
First, trials are often necessary, proving the genuineness of our faith and at the same time teaching us humility. Trials not only reveal our helplessness, but they also put us on our faces before God . . . where we should be, regardless.
Second, trials are distressing, teaching us compassion so that we never make light of another’s test or cruelly force others to smile while enduring it. Having endured trials allows us to provide hope to another without becoming trite.
Third, trials come in various forms. This variety is like different temperature settings on God’s furnace. The settings are adjusted to burn off our dross, to temper us or soften us according to what meets our highest need. It is in God’s refining fire that the authenticity of our faith is revealed, not only to others but to us as well.
Just something to keep in mind the next time you find yourself in the midst of those cage-rattling trials and your faith is being stretched and pushed to the the utmost.