The Bible tells us: ‘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.’ (1 Peter 4:12–13 NKJV)
JB Phillips paraphrases Peter’s words: ‘I beg you not to be unduly alarmed at the fiery ordeals which come to test your faith, as though this were some abnormal experience… If you are reproached for being Christ’s followers, that is a great privilege, for you can be sure that God’s Spirit of glory is resting upon you.’ Times of testing feel ‘strange’, but they are normal and necessary! They are how you grow in grace. They are how God equips and prepares you to do great things in His Kingdom. God never afflicts us, but He most assuredly tests us. And His tests measure us, reveal us, strengthen our faith, purify us, and cause us to grow spiritually.
To quote the apostle Paul: ‘The more grace God gives, the more thanksgiving will redound to His glory. This is the reason why we never collapse. The outward man does indeed suffer wear and tear, but every day the inward man receives fresh strength.’ (2 Corinthians 4:15–17 PHPS) If you could see the blessing that’s waiting for you on the other side of this fiery trial, you’d cancel your pity party and start planning your promotion party.