I hope you were able to answer the question in the title. If yes, then there are 3 very important aspects of your faith that are critical to your abundant life. Peter illustrates these in the remaining text in 1 Peter 1:1-9.
The first is found in verses 6 and 7 which explain that the Christian faith is tested with “various trials.” They are various because they are different for every believer. Each believer’s faith is weak in different areas and needs strengthening.
These trials and tests provide the necessary development of the genuineness of your faith. They replace artificial practice with supernatural faith. This world needs more genuine believers, not fake! Your unbelieving friend, spouse, or coworker needs your faith to be real! Your genuine faith reflects the image of Christ to a world who needs to see God’s real love and forgiveness! Stop settling for a plastic faith and seek to be a real, genuine witness for Christ!
Peter later explains in chapter 4 that these trials can be “fiery.” Not only are they “various”, but they can be painful. Peter compares our trials to the process of purifying gold. In order for gold to shine its brightest, it must be put through intense heat and pressure in order to remove the impurities. God is turning the heat up, not because He’s mad at you, but because He is completing a life changing work in your life. When He’s done, your faith will shine brighter than ever!
Therefore, according to Peter in 4:1, prepare your minds for the anticipated tests . You would be a fool, if you didn’t prepare for the tests in life! I have learned this lesson more than I would like to admit! The good news is, that scripture gives us a sure-fire way to pass these tests if we follow these disciplines!
The first, is learning and quoting promise scriptures! The Bible is full of them! There are even booklets devoted to these precious verses. Search the scriptures that speak specifically to your trial. Write them down and display them in a visible place that you frequent. When your trial is bearing down, read them out loud! Shout them out loud! As you shout, you will be amazed by the Holy Spirit’s transformative work in your mind and attitude!
A good promise scripture to begin with is found in James chapter 1 verses 2 – 4. These scriptures teach us of another important discipline that prepares us for our tests. James tells us to consider the outcome of our trials while going through them. We should learn the discipline of thanking God for the inevitable blessing that will result through our current hardship!
This activity requires faith! Therefore, I stress again, read promise scriptures out loud because faith comes by hearing! This is necessary because your intense trial can blind you from seeing anything beyond your present pain! Pray in this way, “Dear God, this trial hurts but I thank you that you will give me the grace and strength that I need to endure it! Thank you that this trial will produce a life changing work in me to make me a better witness for you!
I ask my congregation this question often: If you knew that your hardship would result in someone else’s salvation or healing, would it make it easier to endure? Who knows, just maybe the work He’s doing in you, is for the purpose of reaching someone else! This happens more than we realize!
The last discipline for our test prep is to present ourselves. An often quoted scripture in Romans 12:1 reads, “I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship (ESV).” Our highest worship is to let God complete the trial He began in our life. This is our worship, because this is our way of will-fully giving control of our lives to God.
Some will run from God during hard times! They will neglect the activities of prayer, scripture reading, and church fellowship. In some cases, many will blame and resent God for the pain and stress they are experiencing! Don’t run from Him but to Him! This trial was designed with a test to see if you would run to God. The reward is a closeness to Him that you would not have otherwise known unless this hardship happened to you!
To recap, if you are born again then God is completing an amazing work in you! Your faith is being tried and tested in various, sometimes overbearing, ways. This is good news, because the outcome of your hardship will result in a great blessing for you, God, and others! Let God complete His work. Activate the disciplines of scripture reading, thanksgiving, and offering your life to Him! You will find the supernatural support you need to endure ANY hardship!
Please comeback to my blog to discover Peter’s explanation of 2 more critical things that every believer needs to know about their Christian faith.