12 “Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you.
1 Peter 4:12 (ESV)
When climbing hills on a bike, use your climbing gear! Downshift so that it is easier to go up!
The same principle applies to our spiritual lives.
The tests and trials of life are like climbing hills on a mountain bike. Spiritually, we get hit with twists, bumps, hidden roots and nearly vertical slopes.
As saints, we need to take advantage of all that God has given us, our spiritual gears, to tackle the steep climbs in our lives without burning out, becoming discouraged, or giving up.
What are some of the God-given gears I must use for climbing through life’s adversity?
Know your enemy – “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places” Ephesians 6:12.
Don’t be caught off guard – “Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you” (1 Peter 4:12).
Remember the truth – “Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me” (John 14:6).
Understand the purpose – “so that the tested genuineness of your faith — more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire — may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ” (1 Peter 1:7).
Pray, pray, pray – “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6,7).
Never ride alone – “Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing” (1 Thessalonians 5:11).
Rider, don’t be surprised by the mountainous or hilly terrain that this life will throw at you. Shift your bike into a climbing gear that God has specifically designed for these uphill struggles.
A prayer to consider: Lord, help us to use all the spiritual gears You’ve given us for climbing our mountainous trails.