Dear friends, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that has come on you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you, 1 Peter 4:12.
Do we read God’s word and respond, “Dear Lord, I am surprised at this trial. What’s going on? But does it draw us ever deeper, whole heartedly seeking Him in His word? Has this fiery trial brought heat in our prayers.
Have prayers been multiplied, have hearts stopped to intercede. Are God’s children coming to receive. The fiery trial is causing many to ask, seek, and knock. The fiery trial has brought about a thirst for God’s word and truth:
“The end of all things is near. Therefore be alert and of sober mind so that you may pray.
Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.
Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling.
Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms”(1 Peter 4:7-10).
The trial brings the Word in view. The trial is causing us all, . . . to follow through, to seek His face, to grow in His grace:
“Therefore, since Christ suffered in his body, arm yourselves also with the same attitude, because whoever suffers in the body is done with sin. As a result, they do not live the rest of their earthly lives for evil human desires, but rather for the will of God” (1 Peter 4:1,2).
These are words from Peter’s letter. How comforting to hear from Peter who failed in his flesh. He denied his Lord three times before the rooster’s crow. Peter made mistakes. Peter’s failure is recorded for all to see in Matthew 26: 69-70.
But God had plans for Peter. God has plans for hearts that hear and ears that turn. God’s grace, mercy, and forgiveness of sin is seen in His gentleness after He had died for all of man-kind’s sin, and yet appeared to many after these things, the story is written. It’s all recorded in the # Best Seller of all times, the Holy Bible, the Living Word. God’s voice to His people, to all who have ears.
Today, it must be read, that we might be encouraged by Him, in the Gospel of John chapter 21:
“Afterward Jesus appeared again to his disciples, by the Sea of Galilee. It happened this way: Simon Peter, Thomas (also known as Didymus), Nathanael from Cana in Galilee, the sons of Zebedee, and two other disciples were together.
“I’m going out to fish,” Simon Peter told them, and they said, “We’ll go with you.” So they went out and got into the boat, but that night they caught nothing.
Early in the morning, Jesus stood on the shore, but the disciples did not realize that it was Jesus.
He called out to them, “Friends, haven’t you any fish?”
“No,” they answered.
He said, “Throw your net on the right side of the boat and you will find some.” When they did, they were unable to haul the net in because of the large number of fish.
Then the disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, “It is the Lord!”
As soon as Simon Peter heard him say, “It is the Lord,” he wrapped his outer garment around him (for he had taken it off) and jumped into the water.
The other disciples followed in the boat, towing the net full of fish, for they were not far from shore, about a hundred yards. When they landed, they saw a fire of burning coals there with fish on it, and some bread.
Jesus said to them, “Bring some of the fish you have just caught.” So Simon Peter climbed back into the boat and dragged the net ashore. It was full of large fish, 153, but even with so many the net was not torn.
Jesus said to them, “Come and have breakfast.” None of the disciples dared ask him, “Who are you?” They knew it was the Lord. Jesus came, took the bread and gave it to them, and did the same with the fish. This was now the third time Jesus appeared to his disciples after he was raised from the dead.” (John 21: 1-14)
But this must be continued. Jesus reinstates Peter! These words need to be read aloud with our hearts crying out: “Show us their meaning, this day and all the rest.”
“When they had finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?”
“Yes, Lord,” he said, “you know that I love you.”
Jesus said, “Feed my lambs.”
16 Again Jesus said, “Simon son of John, do you love me?”
He answered, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.”
Jesus said, “Take care of my sheep.”
17 The third time he said to him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?”
Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him the third time, “Do you love me?” He said, “Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you.”
Jesus said, “Feed my sheep. Very truly I tell you, when you were younger you dressed yourself and went where you wanted; but when you are old you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will dress you and lead you where you do not want to go.” Jesus said this to indicate the kind of death by which Peter would glorify God. Then he said to him,
This might have been Peter’s biggest catch ever. He obeyed the Lord’s word. “Do you love Me more than these?” Was the question Jesus asked.
Perhaps, the fiery trial was allowed that one by one, we might seek the Lord and hear Him ask each of us, “Do you love Me more than these?”
And, may we spend our days, following Him, seeking His Word, asking, knocking, and receiving His sufficient, amazing grace that gives us a peace that passes understanding, . . .
that moment by moment, He gives us His strength and His joy, and enables us to give Him glory as we wait for Him. And ultimately, He will take us to a heavenly home, void of sorrow, pain, and tears.