The Fiery Trial
Grace Orange is fresh on the heels of a four-week look at what God expects and enables as we anticipate the imminent return of Christ in our verse by verse exposition of 1 Peter. We will now be launched back into the arena of suffering. Suffering is a huge part of life and a huge part of 1 Peter.
We have fixed our hearts and lives on holy expectancy, costly love, ready hospitality, and godly ministry; and now we are faced with a fiery trial. A firestorm of gargantuan proportions. That's what the first recipients of Peter's letter would have known. And Peter's words would have been a great encouragement to their hearts.
How can we begin to understand what they went through and be ready for it in our lives? Think Christ's followers experiencing elect exileness (1 Peter 1:1). Think Nero burning Rome and blaming Christians (July 19, AD 64). Think a 200 year widespread persecution breaking out against the Name of Jesus and all His followers. Think hardship and suffering for righteousness' sake.
How can we whose suffering is definitely real, but most likely pales in comparison to the suffering first century Christians endured, understand? How can we expect persecution without unnecessarily bringing it on? How can we rejoice in suffering when it is so painful? God will reveal all this and more to us as we take heed to 1 Peter 4:12-19 and put our full trust in Christ.