I find the concept of trial-by-comfort pretty appealing. It sounds so much better than the whole trial-by-fire thing, which is a concept I’m not particularly keen on.
Yet as I live this life, I realize that trial-by-fire is a large part of the human experience. Grandpa has ALS. Your best friend struggles with loneliness. You are just barely winning the battle against pornography. Your brother buried his child. Work has been brutal. Your teens are trying to navigate high school temptations, relationships, and pressures. You are tired of being told you’re ignorant for believing in Jesus.
You know what stops you from being overwhelmed by the weight of it all? Hearing this message from 1 Peter: “In [God’s] great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. . . . In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed” (1:3,4,6,7).
I’m not asking you to wear rose-colored glasses. Death, temptation, illness, and trouble are hard. Yet God is using those to refine us and draw us closer to him in faith—until the day he literally draws us closer to him by taking us home to heaven.
So we greatly rejoice.