“You should greatly rejoice in what is waiting for you, even if now for a little while you have to suffer various trials. Suffering tests your faith which is more valuable than gold (remember that gold, although it is perishable, is tested by fire) so that if it is found genuine, you can receive praise, honor, and glory when Jesus the Anointed, our Liberating King, is revealed at last.” 1 Peter 1:6-7 VOICE
Do you feel that your faith is being tested? If you do, how would you grade yourself?
The other day, I heard a friend say how neat it was, his words not mine, that the whole world is going through this crisis together. He loves to use the hashtag, “#alltogethernow.” For some reason, that whole idea didn’t sit right with me. It wasn’t that I thought he was wrong persay, but I felt that there was something else to this crisis.
If you read through the Old Testament of the Bible, and even the New Testament at that, you see God doing crazy things to win His people back. Sometimes, He would allow His people to go through tough times just to wake them up and jostle them out of the wrong path they had taken. As I thought about the fact that this may be the first time that the entire world has been quarantined together. I wonder if God is not putting everyone through the fire to see what their faith is. What if God is preparing our faith for even more difficult times, as the Bible warned about?
I confess, the thought of that frightens me a bit. This quarantine has been uncomfortable, to say the least, and for many it has devastated them financially, or worse, has lead to death. I cringe at the thought that there are worse times ahead. But then I remember that there is something else in my future, something way more encouraging. What a grand thought that this place, as it is currently, is is not my permanent home. My future is secure! Soon He will make all things new!
Do you you believe that? Is it carrying you through these times? Do you believe it so much that it wipes away fear and anxiety and despair? I heard someone say that if you are not longing for Heaven everyday, then you are making too much of a life for yourself here. Does the prospect of more difficult times send you into despair? Maybe you are holding on too tightly to treasures here on Earth where Jesus says “moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal.”
Maybe it would be good right now to spend some time in prayer and think through these things with the Lord. Ask Him to expose where you are still holding onto things here on Earth too tightly. Then ask Him to help you set your hope in Heaven. Maybe you have a warped view of things to come. Ask Him to give you a new picture of Heaven.