June 06, 2011

Enduring Children of God

1 Peter 1:6-9; Romans 5:1-5

Trials … have come so that your faith—of greater worth than gold … —may be proved genuine …
1 Peter 1:6-7


I sometimes wish that faith and trials were mutually exclusive, but the Bible refutes that idea. “Trials … have come so that your faith … may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor.”

Trials are sometimes self-inflicted. For example, risky behavior often leads to sad consequences. Sometimes trials are imposed on us when someone wishes to hurt or abuse us. Other trials seem unavoidable. Terminal cancer and cerebral palsy testify that our world is groaning under the weight of sin. When it comes to trials, the only question is when and in what way they will arrive.

In response, we can choose bitterness or endurance. Bitterness makes trials more painful. The way of obedience involves endurance that surrenders to God’s eternal grace. Why?

For one thing, trials point to God’s ultimate goal. The Bible compares times of trial to a birthing process (Romans 8:2224) that will celebrate new life and result in deliverance from all the effects of evil. In addition, like an excellent jeweler, the Lord will bring his most treasured possessions to journey through the crucibles of fire so that he and his truth will be his children’s priority.

I still do not like trials. But one of the greatest miracles is that God uses them so that we can grow, live, and hope in him.

Lord, you see our trials and the crises of faith they often bring. Thank you for loving us enough to help us endure the pain, mature in grace, and grow in hope through your Son. Amen.

About the author — Calvin Hoogendoorn

Rev. Calvin Hoogendoorn serves as senior pastor of First Christian Reformed Church in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Previously he served two churches in Illinois. He and his wife, Carla, have three daughters.

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