In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. - 1 Peter 1:6, 7
One of the most valuable things in our lives is not the money we have, or the possessions that we posses or which sometimes possess us, or a job, or a dream or any "thing" else but it is our faith in God that is perhaps our most important possession. It is worth more than gold.
Because our faith in God affects everything we do and how we do it and what we think about it and how we react to it and what we say about it and how we feel about it. Faith in Jesus gives us the hope to see anything through. Faith in Jesus can get us through any crisis.
Right now we are passing through a type of fire that most of us have never experienced before. COVID-19 is affecting our whole world. It is upending our plans and lives. We are having to adapt and learn and grow through it.
As difficult as it is and can become, it is also an opportunity for us to truly grow in our faith and become more and more like Jesus. It is an opportunity to rearrange our schedules and priorities and really dig deep into our relationship with Jesus and invite Him into every worry, concern, uncertainty and fear we have. It is in these moments that as we come to Him in candor, not holding anything back, and begin to really see and experience Him in our lives. If we approach this correctly we will come through this with a greater faith, better followers of Jesus and a stronger church.
We went to see the movie "I Still Believe" the first weekend it came out & before the theaters closed. I HIGHLY recommend it. Look for it online starting today (Friday, March 27).
Sometimes faith based films are best known for their sincerity but not their technicality or craftsmanship. This film looks great, has really good acting, a good script, the editing is effective, and the story is powerful. So powerful in fact that it is hard not to be moved by it, especially because it is based on a true story, the story of Jeremy Camp and his first wife, Melissa who passed away from cancer after they were married for only a few months.
It is a story of refining faith and sacrificial love and redemption. Because it is a true story it makes hearing the song "I Still Believe" that much more of a faith experience. Out of his grief, Jeremy Camp learned to trust God in deeper ways even when he could not see any good that could come out of the tragedy of his life. Read the lyrics - listen to the song - reflect on what you are going through right now - are you in a place where you can say, "I Still Believe?"
The movie helped me gain a different perspective on what is going on in our world today. We can be overcome by the events in our lives - the deep pain of upending lives and dreams, the change in schedules, the loss of income, the fear of the known and unknown - but with faith we have hope for everything to eventually work out. There may be pain but it can be used by God to transform us, change us, refine us into the people He desires us to be. Jeremy Camp went through a tragic event (it may make you cry - be ready) but he came out of it with a greater faith. He was refined by the experience.
Being refined is not easy or pleasant, but it is necessary. While I do not believe God caused this, I do believe He can use this. He can make something good out of anything. One day all this will be over and one day there will be no more suffering or pain and what will be left is Jesus revealed in all His glory, and it will all be worth it.
God is at work. He has not forgotten us. He has not left us. He is working in us. You can trust Him. He wants your best. There are times, though, tough times we must pass through the fire to get there. Will we still believe? Will our faith crumble and break or will it be stronger, more resilient, more effective?
I trust God with the future. He has never let us down and He won't start now. I believe we will pass through the fire, and I still believe.