“Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy” (KJV, 1 Pet. 4:12-13).
“Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial”
Father, I thank You for the ways in which You have revealed truth to me. You are a good God Who has been exceedingly gracious. I see within myself areas that are not becoming of a Christian. I see ways in which I fall short of Your glory, and I pray that You would forgive me for my sin this day. I do not deserve to come before Your throne, but I thank You for the merits of Christ, my Great High Priest. You have called me unto Yourself, and for that, I am forever grateful.
I see in 1 Peter 4:12-13 the way in which Peter sought to encourage his listeners in the midst of much affliction. Peter spoke of the fiery trial that they were undergoing and told them that they should not be surprised in the midst of it all. I find that when affliction comes my way, I have a tendency to be surprised by it. I know that as a Christian, I am not promised a life of ease, but nevertheless there is a level of astonishment that I experience when things get hard in my life.
Your Word has told me that as a Christian, I will encounter times of spiritual warfare. Your Word has told me that as a Christian, the world will hate me. Your Word has told me that as a Christian, I am merely a pilgrim and sojourner passing through this life and that this world is not my home. But still, when affliction comes knocking on my door, I find myself surprised to see his face.
Teach me to think biblically. Teach me to think like Christ, Who entered into the world and endured much affliction for Your glory and yet honored You in the midst of it all.
“which is to try you”
I thank You for times of testing. I thank You that You desire to strengthen me through times of trial and that You desire to help me to grow. I know that I am not okay where I am at. I know that I am not okay in my present level of holiness and sanctification. I thank You for being an all-wise God Who also knows what is best for me. I pray that You would help me to entrust myself into Your care this day.
Your Word tells me that the trials and afflictions in my life are also times of testing. Your Word tells me that when dross is taken away from silver, the smith will have the material that he needs for a vessel. I see in the life of a silversmith a lesson for me to learn. I must embrace the fire; I must embrace the heat and not run. I must submit myself to the cleansing process in my life, for through affliction, I will be made pure.
In Psalm 119, the psalmist gives me much to meditate on. I can see in his instruction that affliction will help me to obey Your Word and that affliction will keep me from going astray.
“as though some strange thing happened unto you”
I should not think it strange when testing comes my way. I should not be surprised when difficulty arises in my life. I must not be caught off guard when I see the ways in which the world condemns my behavior. There is nothing strange in the affliction that You have sovereignly ordained for me to endure. Your Word tells me that since the days of Adam, there has been much affliction in the land. It will do me no good to avoid the topic. I must embrace the realities of the Christian life and the road to Golgotha’s hill.
What does it mean for me to be like my Savior? Father, I pray that You would show me. Show me what it means to be like Him. I see my Savior as a man Who was despised and rejected by the world. I see my Savior being spit upon, beaten, and bruised. I see my Savior hung high upon a cross bearing the shame of sinful man. What does it mean for me to be like Him? Surely, You know.
You have called me to rejoice in the midst of my affliction. You have not called me to tough it out in one sense of the word, but you have called me to rejoice. James tells me that in the midst of my trials, I am to consider it joy. I find that I am far from where You have called me to be in this area. Rejoicing in my affliction is not my first thought in the midst of my trials, and sadly enough, there are many times when I do not think of it at all. Father, I pray that You would forgive me for my sin.
You have called me to rejoice. I see that Paul was a man who rejoiced often in the midst of much trial. He was imprisoned with the likelihood of death looming large. Nevertheless, rejoicing was a common theme for the apostle.
“inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings”
I see that when I endure affliction as a Christian, I am not simply being afflicted as an isolated individual. Rather, in the midst of my trials as a Christian, I am becoming a partaker in Christ’s sufferings. I find that I pray often that You would make me like Christ, but so often I do not think of what I am actually praying about, for to be like Christ is to be like Him entirely.
Your desire is that I would be made like Him, not to simply be like a part of Him. You have called me to holiness, and You have called me to the cross. You have called me to obedience, and You have called me to die.
“that, when his glory shall be revealed”
Father, I thank You that there is a day coming when the glory of Christ shall be revealed. I pray for that day to come and for it to come quickly. I thank You that there will be a day when sin will be no more and that there will be a day when suffering and sickness will cease. I thank You that in Your presence, there is fullness of joy and that one day I will be able to see Jesus face-to-face. I do not see Him clearly now, only as in a mirror dimly.
But there is a day coming when Christ’s glory will be revealed in full measure, and for that day, I eagerly wait. I pray that You would purify me as He is pure as I wait for that great and awesome day. As I look to Christ and long for His coming, I pray that You would transform me into His image from one degree of glory to the next.
“ye may be glad also with exceeding joy”
What an amazing day it will be when Christ returns. Your Word tells me that it will be a day of much joy and gladness. I see that in this life, I can be glad, and I can have joy, but I find it difficult to maintain these states. Often my gladness turns to bitterness. Often my joy turns to sorrow.
I find that I can be prone to looking upon the negative rather than the positive. I find that I can feel entitled rather than thankful. All of these matters of life that appear to be common among mankind make me look forward to that day when joy and gladness will be the ongoing state in which I live. I thank You, Lord, for the second coming of Christ, and in that, I rejoice. In Jesus’ name, Amen.