“Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations: 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” (1 Peter 1:6,7)
God wants us to be Christians in more than theory. Faith without works is dead. Sermons must be backed up by real life experience. To this end, God allows our faith to be tried with fire.
Experiencing a trial doesn’t mean you’ve come forth as gold. Fire can destroy and disfigure as well as refine and prove one genuine. Both ugliness and beauty can be revealed through painful trials. Whether we pass or fail such tests will depend upon whether we receive God’s all sufficient grace, or remain weak by responding in our own strength.
We may apologize for “the way we feel,” saying things like, “I’m sorry, I just can’t deal with that;” but our decision to walk in our flesh rather than God’s Spirit means we must continue as theoretical Christians. We may still have a lot to say, but we will not really be able to help others in the deepest trials of their lives. And our faith will not be “found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ.” Instead, we will be embarrassed that we did not abide Him.
“And now, little children, abide in him; that, when he shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before him at his coming.” (1 John 2:28)