Encouragements for our troubled times No. 45

COVID-19 Series | Date: 28 January 2021

The Elders and Deacons want to encourage the members and those who regularly meet with us through this weekly letter. If you have news which you would be happy to share with the fellowship or request for prayer, then please let us know.

A message from our Pastor

1 Peter 1:6-7

“In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honour, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ. "

Living in a fallen world, among fallen people and in fallen bodies sometimes we do not find much to rejoice in. Especially at the present time when we are still in lockdown with no clear time scale of when we will be coming out of it. We may be feeling frustrated or depressed. We may be sick or recovering from sickness. We may have various troubles in our lives or anxieties. As we read in Job ‘man is born to trouble as the sparks fly upward.’ But, as the Lord’s children, this is not all that we have in life. As Peter has already told us, we have a living hope, an inheritance in Heaven that we are being kept for by the power of God and it’s in this that we greatly rejoice. Yes, at present we may be grieved by various trials but, as Paul says ‘the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.’

Now, no suffering or trial is pleasant and sometimes we wonder why we have to go through them. In answer to this, Peter tells us a number of things that should encourage us. Firstly, our trials are ‘for a little while.’ Even if they last our whole life, compared to eternity, they are just a drop in the ocean. But normally, our trials are short-lived and as soon as they have achieved the Lord’s ends in our lives then they pass.

Secondly, we are told that we only go through trials if ‘need be.’ The Lord does not let us go through unnecessary trials. We may not appreciate this at the time, but our trials are all necessary for us to go through. We can be comforted by the knowledge that our loving Heavenly Father will not allow us to go through trials that are not necessary and are not ultimately for our good.

Thirdly, our trials are good for our faith. Our faith is a most precious thing to us and needs to be proved for our assurance. The proving of the genuineness of our faith helps us to be assured that we are in Christ and that He loves us and keeps us. It also strengthens us for our walk through this fallen world. It helps us face the trials of tomorrow with a faith that is robust and able to meet them and come through them all more than conquerors in Christ Jesus. The trials of our faith are also good for us because, when the genuineness of our faith is proved, it brings, in this life, and ultimately, when Jesus comes to claim us, praise and honour and glory to His wonderful name.

At this time, in this world, we may not find much to rejoice in, but in Christ Jesus we have everything to rejoice in.