1 Peter 4 : 12 – 13, Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you; but rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ's sufferings, that when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy. NKJV
In Ephesians 2, Paul teaches us that we have been saved by grace through faith, not of works lest anyone should boast. Nevertheless, let’s take a more in-depth look at that principle through this word today. Even though we are Christians, we all periodically face trials and temptations. Peter teaches us not to think it strange when we’re faced with these fiery trials; we should know that these are a test of our faith, and we are only partaking in the sufferings of Christ.
Although we know that we have been saved by grace through faith, we don’t always know how to react when we are faced with fiery trials. However, if we will allow the Holy Spirit to teach us, He will give us greater insight into the truth as to why the enemy strikes out at us. If we truly understood the depth of being saved by God’s grace, then we wouldn’t struggle when faced with trials. Nevertheless, we do struggle occasionally, don’t we?
When we’re faced with temptations and trials, the struggle isn’t over the issue of salvation, but rather it is over our spiritual identity. When I speak about our spiritual identity, I am referring to how we view ourselves when we are brought under the microscope of Satan’s accusations. Have you noticed that your confidence can become shaken in your faith walk when Satan attacks you or your family? If this has happened to you, you should not be alarmed; we all have moments of weakness during times of testing.
Satan intends for his planned attacks to take us under and cause us to give up when we are beginning our walk of faith and still immature in it. This simply means that we have not yet come to trust the God that we declare to have placed our faith in for salvation. When our faith is tried by an offense of Satan, we will begin to closely examine ourselves. We might ask, “What have I done wrong that has caused God to bring this upon me?” If you have said this, or something similar, then please notice on whom the attention is focused. Where does your attention go when life seems to come unraveled at the seams? If it is on you, then your confidence or trust is in “self” and this must be purged from your life.
If your focus is set on Jesus, the Author and Finisher of your faith, then this is proof that you have already come through many trials which the Lord used to purge you from being self-confident. I’m not casting dispersions upon you because we all must go through the same process of becoming totally reliant on Christ and not self. If we should believe that we could change ourselves during a trial, then what is the need for Christ to be in our lives? I’ve been the victim of self-condemnation for many years, so I can recognize the signs of that particular characteristic. However, I have learned that when trouble comes, it’s too late for me to plead my case, so I turn to the Lord for help and ask Him for mercy and to avenge me of my adversary.
Now, instead of looking to myself when offenses come, I turn to the God of grace and ask Him to fight my battles for me... and I hold my peace. It wasn’t the trials that transformed me and my way of thinking; it was my faith in God as my Deliverer and Defender. We were created in the image and likeness of God, but Adam’s sin made us depend upon ourselves instead of our Designer. In the New Testament, God wants us to be transformed into the image of Christ, but we must first have our minds renewed. So present yourself as a living sacrifice unto God and allow Him to change you when Satan attacks your faith. I no longer just believe in God’s grace; I have experienced its wonder- working power in my life.
If God be for Us,
Pastor Asa Dockery
Pastor Asa Dockery