Going Through the Fire
When you least expect it, it comes out of nowhere. That phone call, that letter, that conversation…many of us have been there. The pain is still fresh, even though it happened many years ago. That fiery trial, that ordeal or situation that knocked you off your feet.
I Peter 4:12 says, “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.” Peter tells us that we are going to go through some “fiery ordeals.” That word means ‘smoltering in a furnace.’ It portrays an intense painful experience.
We all experience extreme anguish, sadness or major disappointment. I know all too well the feelings of heaviness, distress and anguish. Problems bring pain. Sometimes we bring them on ourselves, sometimes they can come from other people or different circumstances. But the reality is, they do come.
The image Peter uses in this passage is that of fire. Fire is often used for testing or refining. You have heard the saying, “He’s really going through the fire” haven’t you? Peter sees the fire as a refining process. God is allowing certain situations in your life to refine you. God is cleaning out the impurities and making you a vessel for His glory.
Peter says “Don’t be surprised when it happened, be prepared and receive what God is doing.” If you do not, you will become bitter and angry instead of better and mature. Remember when you are going through the fire, you will not get burned. Don’t believe me, read about the three Hebrew boys who were thrown in a fiery furnace in the book of Daniel. God is purifying you!