Peter says to not be surprised at the fiery ordeal among people, the fiery trials which come upon us to examine us, as though some strange thing is happening to us (I Pet. 4:12). Nevertheless we understand why he warned us to not be surprised because it seems holiness God that’s always our trend. “What is happening?” We cry. “Where did that come from?”
No one likes hard times. And life can sometimes be quite challenging, even for Christians. Peter goes on to say that we should rejoice to the amount that we share the sufferings of Christ, in other words, being reviled for the name of Jesus, persecuted for righteousness sake (I Pet. 4:13-16). And indeed, if we are walking in the perfect will of God, this is the only sort of anguish that we should survive. After all, Jesus’ sacrifice of 33 and a half years included every kind of anguish that Satan brings upon us such as illness, rejection, the end result of curses, including the curse of poverty over the previous day of His life. He had been a substitutionary sacrifice for us. He suffered in our place so that we do not need to suffer these attacks of Satan. The fact, however, is that we do not always walk into God’s perfect will. Sometimes we suffer because of a lack of knowledge.
One of our pastors in Africa simply lost his daughter in passing. This is one of the greatest trials parents could face. But God’s promise is that no test will be too great for us to endure because He is always with us (I Cor. 10:13). Even when we find ourselves reluctant to walk to get a charm throughout the valley of the shadow of deathwe can reach out for the hand of our Shepherd Jesus to lead us through this valley. His rod and His staff do really comfort us (Psalm 23).
Regardless of what we go through, He promised that He would always be there as Yahovah Shammah. He would never leave us or forsake us, even when it looked like He’d (Heb. 13:5). It is in those instances of fiery trials that we realize our God who is Love is more worried about our holy character that will endure eternally than with the ease we may experience in a trouble-free life. Not that He attracts the flame upon us directly. Satan does this. However, God is the overall orchestrator of the practice of purification which outcomes.