12 Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal among you, which comes upon you for your testing, as though some strange thing were happening to you … (1 Peter 4).
The When D.L. Moody’s church was first built, people were afraid to sit in the newly designed balcony which was constructed—without the use of pillars! They just couldn’t believe it would sustain the weight of hundreds of people without pillars for support. So, Moody instructed men to place 200 lb. bags of sand on each seat to prove the balcony would hold weight. It worked, and soon the balcony was full of people instead of sand.
Peter wanted us to accept the fact that since Christians are no strangers to trials, and trials are no strangers to them—that actually makes us friends, of a sort. How so? In that God, through trials, is out to prove (“test”) our real stuff. The Lord allows those flaming arrows to come our way in order to “test” us and thus “prove” (for this is what the word “test” means) His power in our lives to overcome those trials. Thus, in the end, every “fiery ordeal” is God’s sovereign “friendly fire” sent to prove us.
Lord, help us be ready for the weight of trials that come our way, and should This Day be full of them, help us even to see them as friendly fire. Amen.