1 Peter 4:12-13
A few nights ago I sat outside as the sun set and watched what the world — or at least our small corner of it — was doing. Beside me was our fire pit, slowly burning away at the logs placed there, and I mused and considered on what I was seeing.
The fire was slowly consuming the log and as it did so sent a plume of smoke upward. It reminded me of the pillar of smoke by day and the fire by night as mentioned in the Old Testament as a guiding and protecting. In the New Testament we can see that it gives us a deeper picture.
Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you; but rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ's sufferings, that when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy.
I recalled that wood was a type of our natural existence and that when we tie ourselves to the horns of the altar of incense the Lord will place us on the altar to release a ‘sweet smelling savour’, a sacrifice of who we are that is pleasing to Him, because it is pure and holy, cleansed by fire. That release through the fiery trial of our faith becomes smoke — the Holy Spirit carrying us through the veil in the tabernacle to the holiest of all.
A complicated picture no doubt; but simply put, we are made into the likeness of our Lord by the fiery trial of our faith that Peter talks of, and we should be joyous that these difficulties come upon us because they draw us nearer to God.
Peace: Life in the Spirit
There is a dark line in God’s face, but what we do know about Him is so full of peace and joy that we can wait for His interpretation.
[from ‘Disciples Indeed’]