A life of faith
Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that is taking place among you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice insofar as you are sharing Christ’s sufferings, so that you may also be glad and shout for joy when his glory is revealed. If you are reviled for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the spirit of glory, which is the Spirit of God, is resting on you. Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, so that he may exalt you in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him, because he cares for you. Discipline yourselves, keep alert. Like a roaring lion your adversary the devil prowls around, looking for someone to devour. Resist him, steadfast in your faith, for you know that your brothers and sisters in all the world are undergoing the same kinds of suffering. And after you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, support, strengthen, and establish you. To him be the power forever and ever. Amen. ~ 1 Peter 4:12-14; 5:6-11
I don't think many of us will have to face the kind of fiery ordeal that the people Peter was writing to did. So it is important to remember just who it was Peter was writing to.
People who were being persecuted.
It is also worth remembering that our own fiery ordeals, sufferings, pains are part of our life of faith.
But while that may be a reality of the life of faith, it is far from the end of the story.
Despite everything, what Peter told his followers is true for us: God cares for us.
We are not alone. Not in our suffering and not in our joys.
God is present for all. Both now and not yet.
It doesn't free us from the times of hurt in our lives. But it promises that God is present. With us. Loving us. Holding us.
Hold me fast, God. Sometimes everything feels like too much. Remind me always that you are there, as are your people. Amen