Archive for the ‘Refining Fire’ Category

Day #5 – Don’t Be Surprised

Friday, November 29th, 2013

1 Peter 4:12-19 (NIV)

Dear friends, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that has come on you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice inasmuch as you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed. If you are insulted because of the name of Christ, you are blessed, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you. If you suffer, it should not be as a murderer or thief or any other kind of criminal, or even as a meddler. However, if you suffer as a Christian, do not be ashamed, but praise God that you bear that name. For it is time for judgment to begin with God’s household; and if it begins with us, what will the outcome be for those who do not obey the gospel of God? And,

“If it is hard for the righteous to be saved,
what will become of the ungodly and the sinner?”

So then, those who suffer according to God’s will should commit themselves to their faithful Creator and continue to do good.

Reflection

In this passage, Peter exhorts Christians not to be surprised by fiery ordeals, to rejoice in participation of Christ’s suffering, and to be encouraged during times of testing because God’s glory is resting on us.  This may seem opposite of how others in this world may view a blessed life.  However, George Matheson writes:

There is a time coming in which your glory shall consist in the very thing which now constitutes your pain. For Jacob, it was the ground on which he was lying, a stone for his pillow.  Awakened from his sleep he found that the day of his trial was the dawn of his triumph.

Ask the great ones of the past what has been the spot of their prosperity and they will say, ” It was the cold ground on which I was lying. Ask Joseph; he will direct you to this dungeon. Ask John; he will give the path to Patmos.

Ask the Son of God when His rule came over the world; He will answer, ” From the cold ground on which I was lying - the Gethsemane ground - I received my scepter there.”

George Matheson himself was born with poor eyesight and by age eighteen he had nearly lost it completely. This may be considered a hindrance to many people but he recognized spiritual truths with penetrating clarity and insight and entered into living for God’s will.

As we enter into Christ’s suffering in however way it comes, may we be encouraged that God’s Spirit rests upon us and will continue to do good works in our lives to advance His Kingdom.

Responding to the message

Spend some time asking God for strength to embrace His calling through all of life’s trials.  Ask for His Spirit to fill you and to empower you to do good works as you walk in obedience.

Day #4 – Greater Understanding

Thursday, November 28th, 2013

Day #3 – Through Fire

Wednesday, November 27th, 2013

Day #2 – Tested Heart

Tuesday, November 26th, 2013

Day #1 – Genuine Faith

Monday, November 25th, 2013