Job 1:6-12 “Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan came also among them. And the LORD said unto Satan, Whence comest thou? Then Satan answered the LORD, and said, From going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it. And the LORD said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil? Then Satan answered the LORD, and said, Doth Job fear God for nought? Hast not thou made an hedge about him, and about his house, and about all that he hath on every side? thou hast blessed the work of his hands, and his substance is increased in the land. But put forth thine hand now, and touch all that he hath, and he will curse thee to thy face. And the LORD said unto Satan, Behold, all that he hath is in thy power; only upon himself put not forth thine hand. So Satan went forth from the presence of the LORD.”
I Peter 4:12 “Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you.”
Having firsthand knowledge of the trials that await all that place their faith in Christ, Peter endeavors to develop and enhance the expectations of his readers. Peter accomplishes this by giving a revelation of the trial in I Peter 4:12.” When examining Peter’s trial, there are three subjects that quickly call for our attention; he magnified the potency, “fiery”, the presence, “think it not strange”, and the purpose, “which is to try you.”
While all equally call for our attention, I want to give same consideration to the purpose of the trial as seen within the text! It is possible to sufficiently weather the trials of life with only an understanding of their potency and the presence, but one can receive much encouragement and help by gaining clarity with respect to their purpose. One must understand that it is unnecessary for God to do so, but through the pen of Peter He enlightens the reader to God’s objective for working in such a bewildering manner. The word “try” means putting to proof, solicitation, adversity or try. It is at this point I would set forth a thought for your consideration; while a trial can be used to refine one’s faith, can it not at the same time reveal one’s faith! One such case was that of Job. There is no doubt there was a refining of Job’s faith; “I have heard of thee by the hearing of the ear: but now mine eye seeth thee. Wherefore I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes” (Job 42:5-6), but was not God also using the trial to reveal Job’s faith in response to the challenge by Satan, “Then Satan answered the LORD, and said, Doth Job fear God for nought” (Job 1:9). The same trial that serves as a solicitation, by the foe to falter, also reveals our faithfulness to the Father. As the songwriter said, “God will make this trial a blessing.” What was destined to be the buffeting of the foe yields the blessings of the Father as the believer’s worth is enhanced and witness is enlarged by the removal of the dross of the world!
The expectations of the believer are being formed and developed in Peter’s revelation of the trial. In the revelation, Peter magnifies the potency, the presence, and the purpose of the trial; and of the many purposes of God, one is to elevate our worth and enhance our witness.