1 Peter 1:6-9 “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: 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: Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls.”
Have you ever had those times in life where you knew that God was trying you get your attention? The Lord has a way of letting us know He wants a close relationship with us. The problem is, that we many times are not willing to let Him interfere with our lives at the time. The bills are paid, the family is healthy, we are on “cruise control” and at that particular moment we got life handled.
Then there are the times we feel like we “Need God.” You know, those times when difficulties come into our lives, either by self-inflicted wounds, or circumstances beyond our control. That is when we tend to have a sense that we better get close to the Lord, because we need Him to do a work.
The truth of the matter is, that we need God in the good times and in the difficulties of life. We just reach out to Him more in our trials then we do when life is good.
The Lord desires for us to have a close relationship with Him at all times. But, He also wants us to desire to have an intimate relationship with Him at all times. That is why He will allow some trials into our lives, to get us to look up.
It is through the process of trials, that the Lord brings us into closer fellowship with Him. However, we need to allow those trials to do the work that the Lord has designed them to do. Far too often we short circuit what God is working in us, because we resist the pain of trials.
The passage of Scripture, I have quoted above, gives us 4 truths about our trials that will bring us into a more intimate relationship with the Lord.
• The Period of Trials, The Bible tells us that our trials last for a season. That doesn’t mean they will only last 3 months. It means there is a period of time that they will last. Only the Lord knows how long. But, if we have an eternal perspective, they are but for a moment.
2 Corinthians 4:17 “ For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory;”
• The Prerequisite of Trials, Paul says, in our passage, that we have need of trials. Now that flies in the face of what we want to believe!! The truth is that trials will turn us to the Lord in a more meaningful way. When things are not going well in life, we will pray more, read the Word more, get in church more. Basically, working on our relationship with the God. It is though these times we get a deeper knowledge of who God is.
Philippians 3:10 “That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death;”
• The Preciousness of Trials, The Word says, that the trial of our faith is a precious thing! We generally don’t have that perspective. That is God’s perspective on our pain. He is doing a work in us that cannot be accomplished without our trials. He is developing a closeness in us, developing an intimacy that will come no other way.
James 1:3-4 “Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.”
• The Product of Trials, Through our trials our faith grows! Our joy grows! Our hope grows! I’ve never seen the Lord face to face, but I believe He is as real as any person I know. I have a love for Him that is deeper than any love on earth. I can experience joy in the midst of trials. I can trust that someday I will see Him face to face, along with many loved ones that have gone on before me.
Romans 8:18 “ For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.”
As we look forward to what 2018 holds for us, let us determine to have a new intimacy with Christ. No matter the cost.