Not three…but four!

“In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be,you have been grieved by various trials…” I Peter 1:6 NKJV

“This means tremendous joy to you, I know, even though at present you are temporarily harassed by all kinds of trials and temptations. This is no accident– …”
I Peter 1:6 Phillips

Trials given by God are no accident. In fact, trials allowed by God are needed. Trials serve a very needed purpose in this short, vapor-like life of ours. God uses troubles to humble believers. Paul tells us of this thorn-in-the-flesh he was given and it was in that which he plead with God for departure of, was used for him to hear “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” This from II Cor. 12:9. Trials have a way of pointing us, needfully, towards heaven. Job (19:25-26) writes of this: “For I know that my Redeemer lives, and He shall stand on the earth; and after my skin is destroyed, this I know, that in my flesh I shall see God.” There is value in God ordained pain, and we will be glad when we see His glory revealed through such (I Pet. 4:13). Our travel through pain and suffering allows us a greater use in the comfort of others. And even used as a part of others salvation. Paul opens his second letter to the Corinthians with such an insight (II Cor. 1:3-7). There is also the use of suffering as a chastening for sin (I Cor. 11:30). We must remember this chastening is from our Heavenly Father who loves us (Heb. 12:5-12). Finally, spiritual character is often built in times of trouble (Rom. 5:3; James 1:2-4; 5:11; II Thess. 1:4-6).

A favorite pastor of mine, though he was taken home to Heaven, when I was very young, Peter Marshall commented on trials and troubles: God will never permit any troubles to come upon us unless he has a specific plan by which great blessing can come out of the difficulty.

I cannot help but think on the events of the trio of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego in the fiery furnace… seven times it’s normal scalding temperature (Dan. 3:8-27). One of the great verses and truths of the Bible appears in verse 25– “Look… I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire; and they are not hurt, and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God.”

In the fire, it was not a trio, but rather a quartet. It was Spurgeon who said, “As sure as ever God puts his children in the furnace, he will be in the furnace with them”.

At the end of his letter Peter, he will sum this up with the reality that “the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen and settle you. To Him be the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen.”