So be truly glad. There is wonderful joy ahead, even though you must endure many trials for a little while. These trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold—though your faith is far more precious than mere gold. So when your faith remains strong through many trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world.
Almost 25 years ago to the day, the movie Twister was released in theaters in the United States. The film tells the story of a separated couple in the process of divorce who subsequently undergo several near-death experiences involving powerful tornadoes. While the plot of the film was fairly predictable, the movie was a box office success as it became the second-highest-grossing film of 1996.
The special effects were impressive, even though the physics behind the action wasn't always scientifically accurate. For example, the lead characters Bill and Jo Harding defend themselves from a raging tornado by tying themselves to water pipes located in a wooden pumping station. They eventually emerge from the tempest essentially unscathed. While it doesn't take a meteorologist to realize that such a tactic would have killed them in real life, an interesting metaphor emerges from the scene.
Many people try to avoid discomfort as much as possible. Indeed, some believe that it is our obligation to rid our lives of unpleasantries and inconveniences. 1 Peter chapter 1, however, teaches that Christians will experience hardships. It's a simple reality. And we are told that there is a purpose to these trials. They provide us with an opportunity for our faith to become stronger (see also, James 1:2-4; Romans 5:3-4).
For when when our faith is tested, we have an opportunity to trust God more. When we feel weak, we can call out to our God who gives us strength. When a storm rages upon us, we should tie ourselves to our Lord Jesus Christ. Only by holding on to him can we survive the storms of this life.
(New Living Translation; photo credit: Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.)