Both these words possess the same letters, but with a flip of two letters we have a whole new word.
Trials lead us to blaze new trails.
But sometimes trails lead us right into trials.
There have been trails that I have hesitated to follow because I knew they would lead me right into a trial. I could foresee that a particular path would not be easy. Trials weary me. Trials scare me. Trials require much of me. Trials are hindrances.
‘These have come [all kinds of trials] so that your faith–more worth than gold,which perishes even though refined by fire–may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory, and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.’ 1 Peter 1:7
Faith. It is a gift from God. A gift. But it’s not a gift that we put on a shelf and wait for a special day to take it down and use it. Or to ‘re-gift’ it. Or to ‘repurpose’ it. Or even to ‘recycle’ it. No. It is a gift. For you and for me to use. Faith has a purpose and it is valuable and available.
My faith is worth more than gold, and it grows more in value with use. Your faith is worth more than gold and grows more in value as you use it.
Each trial is an opportunity for my faith to be refined and to be made more genuine. Who wouldn’t want that? But who counts the cost? Could I be satisfied with mediocre faith or do I want the real, unmoving, firm kind of faith? Then I must welcome trials. Not that I am going to go create trials, but my perspective on trials should change.
To see it as a loving refining fire. To see it as an opportunity to prove to myself and the world that my faith is genuine. Why? So that Jesus Christ is revealed in my life and receive praise, glory, and honor.
In Genesis we meet a young man by the name of Joseph, who experienced a long, refining trail. His dreams, his integrity, and his faith did not keep him out of the the trials he experienced, but God used them to affect a miracle in the lives of his people.
Sometimes our trials are meant for a bigger story than just us and ours. Sometimes our stories are meant for someone yet to be. Sometimes our stories are for someone we may never meet. Sometimes are stories are meant for God alone to use as he sees best.
May we greet each trial, with faith instead of fear? May we trust the heart of God that the trail that appears dark and frightening is really filled with treasured beauty that will be revealed as we take those steps of faith?