“Who among us shall dwell with the
devouring Fire? who among us shall dwell
with everlasting burnings? . . . for our God
is a consuming Fire
!” Isaiah 33:14 & Hebrews 12:29
“Beloved (of the LORD), think it not strange
concerning the fiery trial which is to try you (to refine
you as gold passed through the fire), as though some
strange thing happened unto you: But rejoice ! . . .
in as much as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings (the fight of Faith); that when His glory shall be revealed (in you) . . . for it is Christ in you, the Hope of glory ! . . . ye may be glad also with exceeding joy !”
I Peter 4:12-13 & Colossians 1:27
We read in the Bible about the resurrection of Christ from the dead; but do we act as though we believed it? Do we believe that Jesus is a living Saviour, that He is not in Joseph’s new tomb, with the great stone rolled before it, but that He has risen from the dead, and ascended on high, to lead captivity captive, and to give good gifts unto men? He is there to plead our cases in the courts of heaven. He is there because we need a friend in the heavenly court, One Who is to be our advocate and intercessor. Then let us rejoice in this !
We have everything for which to praise God. Many judge of their religious state by their emotions; but these are not a safe criterion. Our Christian life does not depend upon our feelings, but upon our having a right hold from above. We must believe the Words of God just as He has spoken them; we must take Christ at His Word, believe that He came to represent the Father, and that the Father, as is represented in Christ, is our Friend, and that He desires not that we should perish, or He would never have given His Son to die our sacrifice. The cross of Calvary is an eternal pledge to every one of us, that God wants us to be happy, not only in the future life, but in this life !
We must bring our minds to rest
upon the inheritance that is “incorruptible, and undefiled, reserved in heaven for you who are kept” -by your own merit or works?–No
; “who are kept by the power of God through faith
(deliverance, freedom, healing) ready to be revealed in the last time. Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations
.” I Peter 1:5
We shall have trials and afflictions; we shall have temptations because we see the working of the enemy and our feebleness to resist him, and we do not constantly look to the Source of our strength. “That the trial of your faith” — that is why temptations come, to try our faith–“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 honor and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ.”
Note: the trail is not as a test, but rather as a work which purges us of all pride, selfishness, and worldly desires. As a coach pushes his students to their very limits, in order to refine them, and strengthen them for the final conflict and battle with the enemy ! Christ has promised us, He will complete that good work which He has begun in us !
The trial of our faith should not cause despair
or discouragement. We should not cast ourselves away, saying, “I am a sinner, and when I become good enough, I will come to Christ; then I can believe and pray.” You will never be good enough of yourselves
to merit the favor and help of God. You must come just as you are
. Christ meets you as you draw nigh to Him. Place your hand in the hand of Jesus, and He will direct you
Believe that He keeps you
, and then it will be found that in the trial of your faith you will come off more than conqueror
through Him that loves you. We gain the victory through faith in Christ’s power to save us
. Then the trial of our faith will be found unto praise and honor and glory at the appearing of Christ. You will praise God that you have found in Christ a present Help in every time of need !
– RH, March 8, 1892 par. 5}