In 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 your faith--of greater 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 1:6-7
Peter wrote his first letter to the believers scattered throughout present-day northern Turkey in late AD 64, or early 65. During that time, believers in Rome were experiencing intense persecution. It is probable that Peter was in Rome facing the persecution firsthand. Normally, the physical mistreatment of believers started in the larger cities and then spread throughout the countryside. Peter warned his readers that "now for a little while" they may have to suffer. But like fire refines gold, so trials refine faith.
It's true, isn't it? I wish it weren't the case, but there is no way of getting around the refining experience of trials. They cause us to refocus on what is important. They turn our trust to the only One who can provide encouragement and strength. Trials grow us like nothing else.
Someone has said that suffering does one of two things. It either makes us bitter or better. Certainly, there are times of questioning and asking, "Why?" No one is exempt from the grief and despair of loss. But through the suffering process, the true believer turns to God and moves forward stronger than before. Faith proved genuine by trials results in praise, glory, and honor.
Father, bring encouragement to the heart of the person suffering today. Keep them close to You. Help them rejoice, not because of their suffering, but because of the growth and strength that results from it. Remind them that You never waste a believer's time. What they are going through today, You will use tomorrow. In Jesus' name. Amen.