The Fiery Trial
"Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you" (1 Pet. 4:12).
George MacDonald, the Great Scotch preacher and writer, tells of a friend who had been broken by circumstances. He was under the heel of testing. Praise gave way to complaint and bitterness, and at last he cried out, "Oh, I would to God I had never been made!" Whereupon the noted preacher replied, "You are not made yet; you are only being made, and you are quarreling with God’s processes."
Sometimes the fiery trial seems like the mailed fist of fate, rather than the mighty hand of God our Father, and we give in to complaint. We complain at the process because we are so short-sighted that we cannot see the perfection which God has in view. We think of the means which God is employing, and not the end which He proposes. God fully knows the value of the refiner’s fire to reveal and develop Christian character.
God, in making sterling Christian character, puts His children through hardship. To make us rugged He permits us to endure hardship. In order to solidify us He permits antagonism. He brings us deep trials through which our souls are strengthened and confirmed. He uses heavy discipline to create assurance, and He purposes that pain shall produce fruitful decision. Thus for us, if we be willing, "Tribulation worketh patience; and patience experience; and experience, hope" (Rom. 5:3-4), and the fiery trial becomes "much more precious than of gold that perisheth" (1 Pet. 1:7).
Child of God, may the fiery trial press you into loving the rod and the staff, and into living the Christ-life outpoured! Praise and thank God for the trial of your faith!