An OMF biography by Ralph Toliver of missionaries facing persecution in China has this title “真金不怕火炼,” which literally means “real gold not fearing the refining of fire”. We read of this in today's passage in 1 Peter 1:7,
These (trials) have come so that your faith – of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire – may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honour when Jesus Christ is revealed.
We have a living hope because we serve a risen Saviour, and we are also promised an inheritance in heaven that will never perish, spoil or fade (1 Peter 1:3-9). As we have our bi-annual Membership Sunday today, and as new members are welcomed into our church family through baptism and confirmation, let us remind ourselves that in His great mercy and love, God sent His Son Jesus Christ to earth to die for our sins, redeeming us by His precious blood (1 Peter 1:17-19).
Praise be to God, He rose from the dead and is now seated at the right hand of the throne of God!
Are we going through trials in our lives at the moment? When we encounter or experience failures, weaknesses or trials, it is indeed difficult to worship or celebrate God’s goodness and blessings. Jesus came to this earth in a time of oppression, corruption and pollution, not just in society with the ruling Roman authorities, but even amongst the Jewish religious teachers of the Law. He appeared to lowly shepherds, to humble fishermen, and reached out even to the tax-collectors, prostitutes and lepers. He chose to follow His Father’s will, and in obedience, humbled Himself to death, even death on the cross. He redeemed us for His own and His Spirit continues to work in our lives to be more like Christ.
One day, God's word promises that our Lord will come again, returning in all His glory. Will our faith stand the tests of time? Will our faith be proven genuine though tested and refined by the fires of life? Continue to have an unwavering hope in the Lord, and renew your strength by waiting on Him (Isa. 40:30, 31).