There Is Another in the Fire

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February 10, 2022

1 Peter 1:6-7 NIV

6 In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. 7 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.

CONSIDER THIS

Let’s linger a minute longer in the black and white vs. color television situation. The question is how can we behold the revealed Word of God. One aspect is like going from black and white television to color television. Another aspect is like going from one dimensional to multi-dimensional. Jesus Christ, by the Word of God through the Spirit of God is always working to wake us up from black and white to color; from one dimensional to multi-dimensional; from one degree of glory to the next. Consider where Paul prays for us to have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19 and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. (Ephesians 3:18-19) This is a prayer for an ever growing capacity to perceive revelation. 

The late great Eugene Peterson translated the entire Bible into a present day vernacular for this very reason, to help us wake up and behold the revealed Word of God and the God of the Word in a fuller dimension of living color. Look how he translates the text we have been working with the past couple of days:

What a God we have! And how fortunate we are to have him, this Father of our Master Jesus! Because Jesus was raised from the dead, we’ve been given a brand-new life and have everything to live for, including a future in heaven—and the future starts now! God is keeping careful watch over us and the future. The Day is coming when you’ll have it all—life healed and whole. (1 Peter 1:3-5)

As we behold the revealed Word of God, in the person of Jesus Christ and as he teaches us through the pages of Holy Scripture, we move from flatness to fullness. We move from the flatness of forensic doctrine (which so easily drifts into dogmatism) into the fullness of dynamic relationship together inside of the Fellowship of Father, Son and Holy Spirit—and all right here and right now in this world, in the midst of its present darkness. That’s what today’s text is all about. 

6 In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. 7 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.

Now Peter makes the move to encourage us. He sees us in our present situations. He knows we are not only riding the struggle bus much of the time, but we are spending a fair amount of the time under that bus. We are “suffering grief in all kinds of trials”—cancer, bankruptcy, divorce, lost jobs, unthoughtful family members, hurtful so-called friends, untimely deaths of loved ones, Covid-19 and 20 and 21 and 22! You get it, all kinds of trials. As soon as one challenge seems to be over another one is spinning up.

Peter wants us to know Jesus sees us and what we are going through. Jesus wants us to know that though we feel like we are losing much of the time, it is actually a sign we are winning. This is quite literally the story of his life. Here’s the revelation of the day: Faith under fire becomes a furnace of transformation. 

Speaking of furnaces, do you remember the three amigos—Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego? It’s worth your time to read the whole story, but I’ll cut to the chase. They went through a terrible trial that was looking to end in their deaths. King Nebudchanezzar had the three men bound and thrown into a blazing furnace heated seven times its normal heat. We will pick up the text here:

24 Then King Nebuchadnezzar leaped to his feet in amazement and asked his advisers, “Weren’t there three men that we tied up and threw into the fire?”

They replied, “Certainly, Your Majesty.”

25 He said, “Look! I see four men walking around in the fire, unbound and unharmed, and the fourth looks like a son of the gods.” Daniel 3:24-25

We know who that fourth person in the furnace was, don’t we? Yep. Jesus. Jesus is with you in the trial and he is taking all that was meant for bad and turning it to good. The fire will seem to destroy you. Do not be afraid, it is only refining you. Cling to Jesus. Here’s what he is saying to you today: You are of greater worth than gold. 

THE PRAYER

Jesus, you are the Messiah, the Son of the Living God. Thank you for your Word in living color, in full dimension, ever stretching the confines of our imagination to how high, and wide, and deep and long is the vastness of your love. Awaken us to fathom it and make us aware of your presence in the trial with us, standing in the flames and causing them to purify and refine without destroying. Praying in Jesus’ name, Amen. 

THE QUESTION

Are you in the midst of a trial right now and experiencing the grief of it all? Are you ready to give up? Are you looking for relief in all the wrong places? Get still and say these words to Jesus, right now: Jesus, I belong to you. Say them until you are praying them. 

For the Awakening,
J.D. Walt
Sower-in-Chief
seedbed.com

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Farmer. Poet. Theologian. Jurist. Publisher. Seedbed's Sower-in-Chief.

3 COMMENTS

  1. JD, at this point in my life, I’m not truly experiencing the flames of trials. But I’m aware that it’s only a matter of time. During one of my times of meditation on Hebrews 12 dealing with our “ running the race” , I was given this vision: There was a house on fire and in that house was a group of toddlers playing. They were totally oblivious to the danger of that situation. A fireman was sent in to rescue them; all they had to do was follow him out of the flames to safety. Some did, others refused to follow. I believe we are those toddlers, Jesus is the fireman who was sent to save us and our role is to try to get as many others to follow as well. We are definitely experiencing a fire right now all around us but unfortunately many are still oblivious to it because Satan has blinded them with the attractions of this world.

  2. Here are my answers to today’s questions: Yes. No. No. With a broken heart, I’m continually looking to and crying out to the living Jesus. “The fullness of dynamic relationship” with Him comforts me and gives me supernatural strength, hope, and peace.

    By the way, I hope I’m not leaving too many comments. If so, let me know and I’ll hold back. Thanks for your multidimensional, color-filled posts!

  3. What made the difference for me was the addition of Jesus’ ascension and its implications for here and now. Currently it is something vaguely acknowledged one Sunday a year rather than an ongoing salvation reality. The birth of Jesus and all its implications happened. The death of Jesus and all its implications happened, the resurrection and all its implications happened. As I was taught it these were about how low salvation goes. But then there is the ascension which is Jesus going as one of us to sit at the right hand of God and he is still currently working out humanity’s salvation; it is how high salvation goes. Learning this left me with a sense that with God there is always more. As John Wesley stated, the problem is not a lack of grace, the problem is we do not access all the grace available to us! Our salvation does not stop with the cross or Jesus’ resurrection, it goes all the way to sitting at the right hand of God. We need to learn how to celebrate Jesus’ ascension at least as much as we celebrate his birth and resurrection, if not more so. :0) :0) :0)

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