What a thrill it must be to quietly glide through the air without the noise of engines! The views from the hot air balloon must be amazing. But there is no gliding above the earth without heating the air that fills the hot air balloon. The burners use gas jets fueled by propane cylinders. The pilot’s job is to fire a steady flame from the burner to climb and maintain altitude.
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). That fiery trial allows us to fly higher and maintain our altitude!
Wouldn’t it be wonderful to peacefully glide through life without difficulties? But I need that flame to make me stronger. With each problem my faith can grow. With each difficulty I can see Him work and draw closer to Him. Each time I respond as I should He takes me a little higher and gives me a more expansive view! Of course, I wish the process were not so uncomfortable. But I can trust Him to know what He is doing. I can trust that He knows how to grow my faith.
Lord, may my attitude allow new altitude!