I am in awe of those first responders rushing into a scene of horror and chaos. They are pumped with adrenaline and provide that critical care that saves lives. But those emergency-service-employees are trained to keep emotions in check and respond with cool professionalism. Even so, the sadness and desperation they see can easily overwhelm even the most seasoned of them. However, with their training and experience, surprise is probably not part of their first response.
In today’s verse, Peter anticipates that the believers will be surprised at the fiery trials they will face. He points out that there is something behind the intense crisis they encounter. The Lord uses every difficulty to test our faith and make us strong. However, this “fiery ordeal” is not something caused by our own wrong choices. It is an ordeal that comes from living as a believer in a non believing world. Rather than reacting with surprise, we are to respond with joy (verse 13) being confident that blessing and future glory are ours (verse 14).
Recently, when faced with a crisis my first response was not only surprise but some doubts as to whether God really knew what He was doing! Although I eventually came around to a place of trust, it was not my first response! After so many years as a believer, my knee jerk reaction surprised and humbled me. What a barometer my response was to the state of my spiritual health!
Lord, grow my faith to respond to any trial with joy. Keep me confident that You do know what You are doing!