Lessons In Suffering From Peter
Trials & Temptations Are Part Of The Normal Christian Life
1 PETER 1:3-9; JAMES 1:2
Both Peter and James emphasise the fact that trials and temptations are all part of the normal life of a Christian, so we should not be surprised when (not if) we have to face them. 1 PETER 1:3-6 and JAMES 1:2 tell us to rejoice when we face trials and temptations of various kinds. That's because tests and trials are an opportunity for us -
• to be tested to see if our faith is real or fake
• to experience again God's faithfulness to us
• to be refined by burning off the sinful habits we have developed
• to become more like Jesus by teaching us obedience through suffering HEBREWS 5:8
Tests & Trials Come In All Shapes & Sizes
The Greek word translated as test / trial / temptation is peirasmos. A peirasmos can be a -
• TEST to see how you will manage as a Christian under certain conditions
• TRIAL to see if you have the spiritual muscle to cope in difficult conditions
• TEMPTATION to see if you will choose to go God's way rather than your own way
The Challenge: God's Way vs My Way
The challenge is the same - am I willing to go God's way and ask him to enable me to trust him completely in the situation, or am I going to try to cope in my own human so-called strength?
In 1 CORINTHIANS 10:13 Paul says that the kinds of tests, trials and temptations we face are the same for Christians as for the rest of humanity. In other words, Christians should not think they are exempt from the kinds of problems faced by the rest of the world. The difference is that if we are filled with the Holy Spirit, we have the resources of God to cope with whatever life throws at us, instead of being overwhelmed.