Tried In the Fire

I Peter 4:12-16 “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. If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye; for the spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you: on their part he is evil spoken of, but on your part he is glorified. But let none of you suffer as a murderer, or as a thief, or as an evildoer, or as a busybody in other men’s matters. Yet if any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf.”

Text Revelation 1:9 “I John . . . was in the isle that is called Patmos, for the word of God, and for the testimony of Jesus Christ.”

Have you allowed the trials of life to bring forth the bitter fruit of discouragement? Have you ever thought, “It wasn’t supposed to be this way?” Wrong! Peter tells us not even to entertain the idea that Christians are exempt from the fiery trials of life. Jesus told His disciples, “In the world ye shall have tribulation” (John 16:33). Within the text, Peter does not want us to question the presence of trials, but rather the purpose of trials; are your trials the result of sin or separation? Are you suffering as an “evildoer” or a “Christian?” What is it about a Christian that causes the world to rise up in continual opposition? John attempts to answer the question amidst his trials on the isle of Patmos. John was opposed because of his convictions, “for the word of God.” John took an unmovable stance upon the Word of God and would not be moved. The Word of God was the revelation of the True God, the rule for life, and the revealer of sin! There was but one body of truth; the Word of God! John was opposed because of his conduct, “for the testimony of Jesus Christ.” The word “testimony” means the evidence given or the record. Society not only heard the expressions of the Word from his lips, but they saw the example of the Word in his life! While the trials may not be welcomed, we can rejoice when they are the result of our separation and not our sin, “rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings.”