Necessary...So That

(1 Pet. 1:6).
“In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith…may result in praise and honor and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ.”

Sometimes I make knives.  My favorite part of the process is moving from sketchbook to steel, from designing to grinding.  At the end of this step the basic shape is complete.  You get attached to the project in this stage.  That’s why the next step is my least favorite – heat-treating.  The blade is placed in hot coals until it glows a deep red.  You can get burned.  Warping can occur.  I’m always glad when this step is over!  But without this necessary stress the steel remains soft, unable to hold a sharp edge and do what its maker designed it to do.  So I never leave this step out.  It’s too important.  I care too much about the project.

Well, as with the metal of a knife, so with the mettle of your faith.  In God’s “book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for [you]” (Ps. 139:16).  His plan for the finished product of your life is beautiful – that you would “rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your soul…” (1 Pet. 1:8).  But, the move from design to completion requires some heat!  “In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trails, so that the tested genuineness of your faith…may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ” (1 Pet. 1:6).

Hard times may cause you to ask, “Where is God?” “Why is this happening?” Or, “Doesn’t He care?”  In short, He’s holding you, trials are a necessary part of His good plan, and He loves you too much to leave out all difficulty.  Sometimes trials are “necessary…so that” your faith will be strengthened and your joy increased as you glorify God in Christ.

Fortunately, heat-treating is a short step.  The pain of that process fades while the joy of using a handmade tool only shines brighter as time goes on.  Though your hands may show a few scars.

In the light of eternity, our trials, no matter how difficult, will also fade as the glory of God displayed in all those who trust in Christ only shines brighter as time goes on.  And in eternity, the only scars left are those on Jesus’s hands.

“So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. 17 For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, 18 as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.” (2 Corinthians 4:16 – 18)

Ben Forbes