1 Peter 1:6-7, Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations: That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ.
Although these trials happen to us, they are only “for a season.” I hope you haven’t gotten the impression throughout this series that what I’m teaching is that constant trials are the perpetual condition of the average Christian; that’s not what I’m saying at all. These trials come and go. First Corinthians 10:13 says, “No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it.” God is our loving Father, and He knows exactly how much we can handle. If He brought us into it, He can bring us out of it. If God doesn’t bring us into a trying situation but it was our own doing or the result of the sinful world we live in, He can still bring us through it.
There are multiple times in Scripture when God has used sin for good. It doesn’t mean God approves of sin, but it shows that in spite of our sinfulness, God can still achieve His good will. Moses murdered an Egyptian soldier, yet in spite of his sin God used him to free the Hebrew slaves. Tamar deceived her father-in-law, Judah, into having sex with her so that she’d be able to have a son when she was barren with her previous husbands, yet God used that sin to give birth to Perez, which eventually led to the birth of Boaz, who married Ruth and gave birth to Obed, who fathered Jesse, who fathered King David, and the line continued to the birth of Jesus Christ (see the genealogy records in Ruth 4:18-22 and Matthew 1:1-17). So, even if you do suffer trials because of your own sin or as a victim to the sins of the world, God is more than capable of using it for good. Romans 8:28, “And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.” However, notice in the 1 Corinthians verse it does not say God will make our temptations magically disappear, but rather He will help us endure it. So do not be troubled and just keep pressing on; it is only “for a season.” Now, you might ask, “What about those Christians who are persecuted to death?” Obviously they were martyred because they would not recount their faith in Christ, in which case God enabled them to endure.
This is not an excuse to continue sinning, however. Romans 6:1-4, “What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it? Do you not know that all of us who have been baptised into Christ Jesus were baptised into his death? We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.” Jesus Christ has called us out of sin. We have died to sin in our baptism; therefore, we are without excuse when we live in unrepentant sin. If you believe in the justification of your sins through the blood of Christ and think that means you can continue living in sin, you misunderstand the Gospel.
Before I conclude, I want to avoid a possible misunderstanding by reiterating that every single suffering we experience is not always a result of God’s action. As I talked about before, we can cause our own suffering, or it’s because of the sins of the world that causes “unfair” or “unjust” suffering. The good news is that when something like this happens, we have great words of comfort from Christ Himself: “Come to Me, all who weary and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light” (Matthew 11:28-30). Whenever you are weary or burdened with so much stress and suffering, lay yourself down at the foot of the Cross and surrender your situation to Christ, taking up His yoke and learning from Him, putting your trials in His hands, and He shall give you rest in His timing, for your suffering is only “for a season.”
Stay tuned for next time when I discuss remembering “wherein ye greatly rejoice.”