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Tuesday: The Fiery Trial — 17 Comments

  1. Persecution in the church begins many times by gossip, self advancement, not following Matt.18, in other words by this too; by being used as a scapegoat!!

    Amen!(26)
  2. 1. If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you".

    2. Fire was a good metaphor. Fire can be destructive, but it also can clean away impurities. It depends on what is experiencing the fire. Houses are destroyed by fire; silver and gold are purified by it. Though one should never purposely bring on persecution, God can bring good out of it. Thus, Peter is telling his readers (and us): Yes, persecution is bad, but don’t be discouraged by it as if it were something unexpected. Press on ahead in faith.

    #Encouragingwords.

    Amen!(13)
  3. We can encourage one another, whether Christians or non Christians, to lift them up by conversing with them about Christ. Visiting them in good times or bad times, praying for them and praying with them. Also read God's scripture with them and seek to find out their needs. Follow Jesus's steps in how He used to act on earth. Encourage them to take part in church with their own free-will.

    Amen!(8)
  4. Personally, anyone can feel persecuted at some point, simply for being a good person. The world has become a place with missunderstood meanings of love. True love seems to be fading away from the planet. Money has become more important! When true love invades the soul, some people around may feel in discomfort... Our minds are blurred! As a people, we must pray for true Love to invade our hearts - so we can finish what Christ started some 2000 years ago...

    Amen!(10)
  5. We must understand that many of us is going to go through trials, we have to remind ourselves and others that when we suffer these hardship we are suffering has Christ do. We must be watchful, never stop praying and studding Gods word, this is what is going help us through the fire.

    Amen!(8)
  6. The funny thing is, we all want salvation but none of us wants to experience persecution. For many of us, it is difficult to imagine good coming out of being persecuted, despite what we have read in the Bible. Ellen White says in the Great Controversy that the blood of the Christians was the seed yet we shun persecution. Most of what we imagine to be suffering and persecution we have brought on ourself. I am by no means implying that one has to be put to death in order to suffer or be persecuted, but we have to look at our suffering and fiery trials through the lense of Jesus "all that live godly will suffer" and when we do experience suffering and fiery trials, we "must not think it strange." Since Jesus suffered, I will as His child experience suffering. Lord please help me to live godly and bravely whatever firey trials I experience today.

    Amen!(12)
  7. Sometimes when we are going through our 'fiery trails' we feel despondent and far away from God. We question 'why is God allowing this evil to come upon me, what am I doing that is wrong in his sight.' Like Job we ask God to give an account of the trails we face. It is very important though for us to:
    1. Never doubt God's unfailing love and goodness despite our questioning (like Job he never doubted God's goodness).
    2. Be revitalized in the promises written in the Bible for edification and strengthening.
    3. Remember, persecution endured for a Christ like character is recognized and honoured by God (Matt 5:10; James 1:2-4). Being mindful that persecution incurred because of our doing is a curse and will bring damnation (1 Peter 4;15).
    4. Do not allow the trials to break but make us.
    After being purged by the fire, we are refined, strengthened and refreshed. Sometimes we will are able to see the positive result of our testing, sometimes we do not. God has good plans for us trust him to direct our path and steer our plans (proverbs 16:9).

    Amen!(12)
    • Nadine, i would like to bring some balance to your statement (Being mindful that persecution incurred because of our doing is a curse and will bring damnation (1 Peter 4;15)

      Occasionally, someone who is punished for a crime is purified through the experience, finds Jesus, finds pardon, and uses this to make a better name for himself. I think we need to see punishment, not as persecution but as punishment meant to purify our characters. if we respond properly to punishment we will not receive damnation but purification of our characters.

      Amen!(0)
      • The reason why, God let the enemy does evil stuffs to us, it's because He wants us to know Him in many ways and how powerful He is. Also He wants us to learn, He is a God that turns impossible situations/bad conditions into possibilities.

        Another important thing, very, that God allows the enemy to attact us is for our own benefits. The fiery trial develops our characters strongly in God's infinite love for us. Also we become to understand someone's situation better, with more love, understanding and with more compassion

        God bless you, give you strength and wisdom with His infinite love as well with His Holy Spirit, so you can defeat the enemy. You will. You are not alone
        The Almighty God is with

        Your loving sister Nancy in Christ.

        Amen!(0)
  8. So Peter is saying that God has chosen fiery trials to not hurt us (even though it does not feel good at the time of the persecution),but to restore, establish, strengthen, and support you after you have suffered a little. 1Peter 5:10

    Amen!(9)
  9. The comments here all sound a bit theoretical. So I'm wondering if any who read this have some experiences to share? We may not have had persecution which threatened us with death, but surely we have had some taste of the devil's displeasure?

    The first "persecution" I remember was as a child in Germany when school was in session 6 days a week, and I had to miss Saturday classes. I don't remember being persecuted for that in my first 3 years, but I did feel like an outsider, since there were religion classes that taught things I didn't believe. I hooked up with another "outsider" early in the first grade - a little Catholic girl. Not sure that being chased by bullies had anything to do with my faith, and I was certainly not aware of any benefits.

    The next opposition I experienced was purposeful and deliberate by a biology teacher in Grade 4. (In Germany we switched to a different school system at that grade if we wished to go past Grade 8.) I had to ride my bike 5 - 7 km to school, and that was okay. Good exercise. But I also had to ride on Sundays to see another girl to get my homework for Mondays. That wasn't so bad either. But what was bad was this teacher's deliberate put-downs and ridicule specifically directed at my being a Seventh-day Adventist. I was a good student, but I seem to remember that he docked my grade as well. Still, I certainly did not perceive any benefit.

    But the worst experience I remember came from other members of our small church company in a certain community in Canada. We were late-comers to the group, and most of the rest were involved in trying to set up a self-supporting ministry. The church group would have regular business meetings to deal with finance, policies (re church school, for instance) following a meeting by the "self-supporters" in which they had already decided the outcome of the church business meeting, unbeknownst to us. It just so happened that we didn't always agree with their preconceived outcome, and after presenting what we saw, the majority vote reflected our views.

    Again, unbeknownst to us, the self-supporter group got their heads together to figure out what went wrong and decided it must have been Satan working through us to spoil their plans. So they called a meeting of the whole church group to confront us with the fact that we had been Satan's agents. (I think they said it in slightly more veiled tones, but the meaning was abundantly clear.) They had even written a letter to the conference about us disturbing the peace.

    I remember being in total shock, having had no idea that anyone had such thoughts. I just thought we were a nice little church community. My husband was equally shocked. I remember praying that God would give us the peace to prevent us from any responding in any negative fashion. We were both surrounded with total calm and peace - even when our accusers politely suggested that we might be more comfortable meeting with another family who lived closer to us. In other words, they disinvited us from the church group - as close to disfellowshipping as an informal group can go. The shock lasted till we got home and beyond. Yet, at the same time, we experienced the peace of God.

    But the next day, it really hit me: We were to be isolated! All the friends we thought we had had turned against us! How could we explain to our young children that they wouldn't meet their friends in Sabbath School? I remember throwing myself across the bed and crying out to God in utter desolation.

    Then the phone rang, and on the other end was a pastor - the only person in the whole world who would have some understanding of the situation. He began by asking me how I was .. you know, the usual polite thing. I'm sure he didn't expect the outpouring he got from me. He stayed on the phone with me for over an hour, comforting, assuring, explaining and praying with me. I never did find out why he called. All I knew was that God told him to call. I was in awe and continue to be in awe of the great God of the universe caring enough for one distraught young mother to work such a definite miracle.

    Perhaps you wonder about the aftermath ...

    We had met in each others' homes for church, and the next Sabbath meeting was scheduled in the home of the young man who had explained to us how we were Satan's agents. Between us, my husband and I discussed what to do. We decided to go "to church" as usual, as though nothing had happened. If they wouldn't let us in, we'd have to make different plans. When we knocked on the door, the host was a little surprised but invited us in courteously, and the Sabbath proceeded as though nothing had happened, and so it continued for the rest of the time that the same people lived there. (They eventually moved away while we stayed, and the phone number for the Seventh-day Adventist Church in town was forwarded to our number. But that's another story.)

    It was a number of years later before the ring leaders spoke to us, individually, at different times. Both thanked us for what we had done in opposing their plans, believing that God had worked through us. (Back then we saw the potential of great harm to God's cause if they had continued as planned.)

    I'm sure there are others reading this who have gone through trials and have not yet seen what good came of it. But be assured, that if you experienced trials for following God, He makes Himself responsible for the consequences.

    Amen!(12)
    • Thanks for sharing and I think the greatest pain comes from being persecuted within the church were comfort should be coming from.

      Amen!(3)
  10. Inge,

    "So they called a meeting of the whole church group to confront us with the fact that we had been Satan's agents."

    "It was a number of years later before the ring leaders spoke to us, individually, at different times. Both thanked us for what we had done in opposing their plans, believing that God had worked through us."

    Would you consider the original accusation....blaspheming the Spirit?

    Amen!(1)
    • I would consider the first accusation understandable delusion. They were very sure that they were doing God's work. So how could their plans be so often thwarted - while they, themselves, voted contrary to their previous plans? It must be the devil, they figured. (Of course, we knew little of what was going on behind the scenes. We prayed for Holy Spirit enlightenment, and I believe God answered.)

      They didn't see what we saw - that there were some obvious (to us) interpersonal relationships that could end up in disaster that would bring the name of the church into disrepute. Because of the change resulting from our lack of cooperation, several lives turned into a new and better direction. For that they were later thankful.

      I believe there's a lesson for all of us that goes beyond "persecution": We need to listen to each other. God brought us together into church relationship so that we could not be too easily deceived.

      Amen!(2)
  11. More than some Adventists will not see the light & repent like in Inge's experience...

    "As the storm approaches, a large class who have professed faith in the third angel's message, but have not been sanctified through obedience to the truth, abandon their position and join the ranks of the opposition. By uniting with the world and partaking of its spirit, they have come to view matters in nearly the same light; and when the test is brought, they are prepared to choose the easy, popular side. Men of talent and pleasing address, who once rejoiced in the truth, employ their powers to deceive and mislead souls. They become the most bitter enemies of their former brethren. When Sabbathkeepers are brought before the courts to answer for their faith, these apostates are the most efficient agents of Satan to misrepresent and accuse them, and by false reports and insinuations to stir up the rulers against them." Great Controversy p 608

    Amen!(1)
  12. My father served in the armed services during World War 2. He was a member of the New Zealand Medical Corps, 22nd Field Ambulance. He told us when we were kids that it was very hard to be a practicing Christian, and he had all the usual flak for keeping Sabbath. There were several Adventists in the same unit and they stuck together through the hard times.

    It was interesting that after I attended the ANZAC Dawn Service this year (for the first time ever) I decided to look up the history of Dad's unit that recorded where the NZMC had been and what they had done during the war. To my surprise, Dad was one of the few ordinary service men who is actually mentioned by name in the history. This is what I read from "Shovel, Sword and Scalpel" about their time in New Caledonia:

    As it was apparent that the unit would be in the area for some time, and as the increasing size of the hospital was already causing tentage problems for the quartermaster, a site for a permanent structure was selected at the top of a clear knoll to the north of the camp. After much pick and shovel work and with the assistance of a compressor from the 20th Field Company, the site was levelled. Soon the building itself was started under the direction of Private Stan Ashton—the brains of all the 22nd's constructional efforts. The finished building had a length of 94 feet, was divided into three wards, and had concrete floors throughout. The men of the unit provided timber gangs and erected the structure, while native labour was employed to do the thatching with niaouli bark. The completed building, admirably situated with a view out to sea, offered as many facilities as could be expected under the existing conditions.

    Before Dad was conscripted into the army he was a builder by trade. He may have been ridiculed for his Christianity initially but in the end his skills were appreciated. He taught me a valuable lesson. Others may ridicule you for your Christianity, but if you can demonstrate your willingness to serve they forget about that and work with you.

    Amen!(4)
  13. Yes we need to uplift our brothers and sisters. Encouragement goes a lot further than constantly pointing out our faults. If those who have no knowledge of Christ can up lift those of us suffering just think what an encouraging word from a fellow believer can do.
    My favorite author said this:
    Wherever there is an impulse of love and sympathy, wherever the heart reaches out to bless and uplift others, there is revealed the working of God’s Holy Spirit. In the depths of heathenism, men who have had no knowledge of the written law of God, who have never even heard the name of Christ, have been kind to His servants, protecting them at the risk of their own lives. Their acts show the working of a divine power. The Holy Spirit has implanted the grace of Christ in the heart of the savage, quickening his sympathies contrary to his nature, contrary to his education. The “Light which lighteth every man that cometh into the world” (John 1:9), is shining in his soul; and this light, if heeded, will guide his feet to the kingdom of God. COL 385.1
    Uplifting our pastor is important too. Why? Because beautiful are the feet of the one who brings us good news of good things. Romans 10:15.

    Amen!(2)

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