“In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that your faith – of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire – may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed” 1 Peter 1:6-7.
God has designed the Christian life to require dependence on Him. One of the ways He has done this is revealed in this passage. Trials build our faith... if we endure. What does it mean to endure? It means that our faith results in praise, glory and honor to Christ. The way we respond to life’s hardships should reflect the character of Christ. This kind of response will bring honor to His name.
There is always the temptation when we face hard times to question God. Many times it just doesn’t seem fair. Sometimes it may even feel like God is withholding His blessings from us when we are experiencing the grief of trials. But this passage assures us that the opposite is true. Despite how we feel, the most loving thing God does is to test and build our faith. Why? Because having genuine faith makes us eternally rich.
The dark times in our lives are God’s invitation to come nearer to Him. In these times, we experience God’s grace and sufficiency in ways that we cannot when things are easy. It is because He loves us, and desires a deep and meaningful relationship with us, that He allows our faith to be tested by trials. This is why we can rejoice... because we know that what we face on this earth will soon be over. But the riches gained from endurance will last forever.
There is no better example of this truth than Jesus Christ. He suffered physically, spiritually and emotionally. He experienced loss, insults, exhaustion, temptation, and betrayal, yet was without sin. He showed us how to draw near to the Father in the darkest hour, and how to rely on the Spirit of God when all strength is gone.
As we celebrate this season of God’s love and grace, may we be reminded not only of Christ’s birth, but also of His life. He lived for the glory of His Father, by the grace of His Father, and by the power of the Holy Spirit at all times.
Father, This Christmas, help me to remember the example of Christ. His life is the most wonderful example of Your goodness and grace. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
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