Triumph Through Trials (1 Peter 4:12) - Radical

Triumph Through Trials (1 Peter 4:12)

Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you as though something strange were happening to you.
– 1 Peter 4:12

What a verse! Peter is writing this to suffering Christians who are walking through fiery trials.

1 Peter 4:12 teaches us the inevitability of trials in the Christian life.

And Peter says, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit… This is God speaking through Peter to his people in the middle of suffering. He says, “Beloved,” which I love that. These are people who are loved by God, which is so important, right? When we walk through trials… Or when we walk through suffering. We often wonder about God’s love for us, for others, and 1 Peter 4:12 starts with, This is who you are. You’re beloved by God. Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you as though something strange were happening to you.

This is what Jesus told his disciples. Peter was there when Jesus looked into their eyes right before he went to the cross, by the way. Jesus said, In this world, you will have trouble. You will have trials, you will have tribulation. That’s a promise. That’s not one we like to claim. But it’s a promise straight from Jesus. You will have trial, you will have trouble, so don’t be surprised when you find yourself in fiery trials. Oftentimes, as followers of Jesus, maybe we wouldn’t say this, but we have this underlying thought that, if we follow Jesus, then life will be easier or things will go well for us. In many ways, that’s true. We’re in relationship with God, we have eternal life that supersedes anything this world throws at us. Yes, that’s the best thing for us, but that doesn’t mean fiery trials are not coming.

1 Peter 4:12 encourages us to endure trials with faith and hope.

Jesus actually promised us that more trials would come as a result of following him. The more we follow Jesus, the more we live to spread the good news of Jesus in the world, the harder things will get for us in this world. That’s the clear teaching of Scripture. It’s the clear teaching of Jesus. So, Don’t be surprised, 1 Peter 4:12 says, When you find yourself in trial, but take heart.

This is the other thing Jesus said that Peter heard, You’ll have trouble in this world, but take heart. I have overcome this world. That’s what the book of 1 Peter is all about. In the middle of fiery trial and testing, you have a living hope. As we prayed, according to 1 Peter 1:5, we’re being guarded through the power of God amidst the fiery trials of this world. God, we pray for your help amidst trials.

This verse encourages us to stand firm in faith amidst trials.

Help us not to be surprised when these fiery trials come. If we’re walking through trials right now… Help us to realize something strange is not happening to us. This is life in this fallen world, as you promised it would be, as a result of sin and all of its effects in this fallen world. But we take heart amidst the fiery trials of this world, Lord Jesus, that you have overcome this world. We praise you for conquering sin and death. God, we praise you for your power over suffering. We praise you for your promise that one day fiery trials will be no more. We say today, we trust in you in the middle of the trial, we cling to you in the middle of the trial.

Just as 1 Peter 4:19 tells us to do, we entrust our souls to you, our faithful Creator, and we pray that you’d help us to do good in the middle of the trial. To keep our eyes fixed on you, point others to you, and to walk faithfully with you through these not surprising, not strange, fiery trials as we can’t wait for the day when they will be no more and you’ll wipe every tear from our eyes. God, we pray that you would help us to spread this living hope to others who don’t have it amidst fiery trials in this world to friends, family members around us today. We have opportunities to share the gospel with, living hope with, help us to appoint them to living hope.

Prayer for the Kabirpanthi People

And God, we pray for the Kabirpanthi people of India, this small Hindu people group.

Small, 100,000 of them. You know all of them. You know, God, that there are hardly, if any, followers of Jesus at all. Most of them have never even heard of the death of Jesus on the cross for them, his resurrection from the grave, the eternal life they can have that supersedes the trials of this world. God, we pray for the Kabirpanthi people of India. Please, cause the good news of your grace to spread to them. We pray all of this according to your word in 1 Peter 4:12. In the name of Jesus, the one who has overcome the world, amen.

David Platt

David Platt serves as a pastor in metro Washington, D.C. He is the founder of Radical.

David received his Ph.D. from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary and is the author of Don’t Hold Back, Radical, Follow MeCounter CultureSomething Needs to ChangeBefore You Vote, as well as the multiple volumes of the Christ-Centered Exposition Commentary series.

Along with his wife and children, he lives in the Washington, D.C. metro area.


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