“Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you; but rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ’s sufferings, that when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy.”
(1 Peter 4:12,13)

I don’t know where we ever got the idea that becoming a Christian means life suddenly becomes a bed of roses, a field of dancing lavender or a powder puff of luxurious comfort. I know, I’m being dramatic, but I want to make a point.

Without a doubt, life with Jesus is precious, transforming, secure. I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

But that does not mean life is suddenly easy. It is COMPLETE – but not easy.

If you think about it, all the folks in the Bible that we ceremoniously place on pedestals as perfect individuals, ALL faced difficulties in their lives.

Yet they knew the Lord their God.
They trusted the Lord their God.
And they believed the Lord their God.

And the focus of their journey was to get to the Promised Land.

Through their trials, God revealed Himself to them. He parted the Red Sea by holding back gargantuan walls of water to allow safe passage. He killed a giant with a mere stone…He loosed Paul’s prison chains with an earthquake and, as a result, a jailer was saved along with his family.

In the fire we learn Who God is. We gain an understanding of the suffering Jesus endured for us. We discover an intimacy and a trust in our relationship with Him as He reaches out to comfort, to shelter or deliver us.

In our trials, we begin to understand His faithfulness.

AND, we begin to see life through new eyes. We begin to use new concepts like “eternal purposes”. We begin to see things through the lens of eternity. And suddenly we realize that our days are but a twinkle in God’s eye. He is preparing us to live in the Light of His glory and love forever! And forever!!

I love the way The Message translates 1 Peter 4:12,13 ~ “Friends, when life gets really difficult, don’t jump to the conclusion that God isn’t on the job. Instead, be glad that you are in the very thick of what Christ experienced. This is a spiritual refining process, with glory just around the corner.”

I am looking forward to that glory part! I can only imagine…

Lord, if we could only see life through Your eyes. We are so consumed with the here and now, and You are consumed with the forever and ever! I am thankful that You take delight in caring for us. You do not want us to worry about what we will eat and drink and wear. But, ideally, You want us to spend eternity with You. That is what concerns You more than anything. Now that I am beginning to understand this, I think it is awesome. Such love! Such grace! Thank You Father. I love You.