“Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you.”
concerning the fiery trial
A “fiery trial” is a trial by ordeal. Christians face test by fire. These trials are not light. Flames of persecution will scorch them.
The word “fiery” may refer to the smelting process. Assayers put gold or silver ore into a smelting pot to separate the chaff from the gold making the gold pure. As the ore heats the gold, the dross comes to the top leaving pure gold at the bottom. God puts Christians into the fire to separate them from their sin or to build their spiritual character.
The Roman government made a hostile policy change toward Christians shortly after the writing of 1 Peter. They unjustly blamed Christians for bad things happening to the Roman Empire. They killed hundreds for apparent treachery.
God puts us into the fire to separate us from sin and to build our character.
Not all trial is a “fiery” ordeal. Some of our troubles are not severe but merely pesky little things like mosquito bites. At other times a bumblebee will bite us. That is more serious. There are times when God calls us to go through a “fiery” trial.
We should not take the attitude that “I don’t know what I ever did to deserve this.” You may not have done anything to deserve deep suffering. This is part of God’s plan for you. A trial is inevitable in that plan. No one gets through life without hurt and pain. Just because we became Christians does not make us immune from suffering and exempt from trial. You will weep. You will hurt.
We get the idea that when we become Christians, God puts a glass cage around us so that no problem will come our way, and nothing can hurt us. For sure, God does hedge us about. Absolutely nothing can touch us unless He initials it first. No trial can come to us without the Lord giving it His okay first. Everything he permits is for our good and His glory.
We may not fully appreciate this while we go through the trial. We cry, “This is hot! It hurts!” Sure it does, but we will come out the other side stronger and better Christians. After gold is refined, it is more valuable. After the dross is removed, gold is more beautiful. God is in the process of removing the dross from our lives. He is in the process of making us more beautiful. Do not think this is strange. This is par for the course. This is God’s plan.
No Christian goes to heaven on “flowery beds of ease.” Yet we have the promise that God “will never, ever, ever, ever, ever [5 particles in the Greek] leave us” (He 13:5).
Is 43:2, “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;
And through the rivers, they shall not overflow you.
When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned,
Nor shall the flame scorch you.”
We can count on the Lord to go with us when we go through fiery trials. It is just like the Lord to be with us in times of duress.