by Mike Ratliff
6 Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations: 7 That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ: 8 Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory: 9 Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls. 1 Peter 1:6-9 (KJV)
Just a few years after God had mercy on me back in the mid-1980’s we moved from the Tulsa area to Edmond, OK. then just a few months later we moved again back to my home town, Yukon, OK. It was here that we joined the church in which was a huge part of us raising our children then rejoined it after 15 years of living again in Tulsa then Kansas then Edmond. One of the pastors of this church now was a Bible teacher back then and it was in his class that my wife and I were placed. It was from this man’s teaching that I learned so much of what I teach you. His name is Scott. One of his lessons I will never forget was about how God takes us and tries our faith in the fires of tribulation. He compared what God does to a gold refiner who holds the gold in fire until all the dross is burned away. He knows the process is complete and the gold can be taken from the flames when he can see his own reflection in the gold. Yes, I will never forget that lesson and every time I go through a trial I remember that and know what God is doing is actually answering my prayers to make me more Christlike.
I am no different than any of you. I don’t like tribulation. However, it is the testing of our faith that strengthens it and matures us. This morning’s devotional from Spurgeon’s Morning by Morning nailed this. I pray that you will be blessed by it as I was.
C. H. Spurgeon
“The trial of your faith.”—1 Peter 1:7.
FAITH untried may be true faith, but it is sure to be little faith, and it is likely to remain dwarfish so long as it is without trials. Faith never prospers so well as when all things are against her: tempests are her trainers, and lightnings are her illuminators. When a calm reigns on the sea, spread the sails as you will, the ship moves not to its harbour; for on a slumbering ocean the keel sleeps too. Let the winds rush howling forth, and let the waters lift up themselves, then, though the vessel may rock, and her deck may be washed with waves, and her mast may creak under the pressure of the full and swelling sail, it is then that she makes headway towards her desired haven. No flowers wear so lovely a blue as those which grow at the foot of the frozen glacier; no stars gleam so brightly as those which glisten in the polar sky; no water tastes so sweet as that which springs amid the desert sand; and no faith is so precious as that which lives and triumphs in adversity. Tried faith brings experience. You could not have believed your own weakness had you not been compelled to pass through the rivers; and you would never have known God’s strength had you not been supported amid the water-floods. Faith increases in solidity, assurance, and intensity, the more it is exercised with tribulation. Faith is precious, and its trial is precious too.
Let not this, however, discourage those who are young in faith. You will have trials enough without seeking them: the full portion will be measured out to you in due season. Meanwhile, if you cannot yet claim the result of long experience, thank God for what grace you have; praise Him for that degree of holy confidence whereunto you have attained: walk according to that rule, and you shall yet have more and more of the blessing of God, till your faith shall remove mountains and conquer impossibilities.
Soli Deo Gloria!