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. 1 Peter 4:12-13 NKJV
Do not think that it’s strange; don’t be surprised, when you experience a fiery trial—something used by the devil—that is so calamitous, so devastating, so severe—in order to destroy your faith. Your adversary, the devil, is out to steal the Word of God from you. Just remember, it isn’t God sending the fiery trial, but it’s the devil.
Satan’s number one weapon that he uses to steal the Word from you is affliction and persecution (Mark 4:17). Affliction means “pressures of life.” Affliction includes sickness and disease, financial problems, and physical and emotional problems including anxiety and depression. So, what is the will of God concerning fiery trials?
The apostle James said that you should “count it all joy when you fall into divers temptations; knowing that the trying of your faith works patience” (James 1:2-3). Various temptations (tests and trials) are to be received with joy and endured with patience. The word, “temptation” translated means evil solicitation; tests and trials (Greek text); and Jesus called temptation evil (Matt. 6:13).
If Jesus taught his disciples to pray, “lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil”, then how could tests and trials be the will of God. And, in the same teaching on prayer, Jesus first taught his disciples to pray: “Your kingdom come. Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven” (Matt. 6:10). Since there are no fiery trials, tests and trials in heaven, then obviously, these pressures of life aren’t the will of God here on earth.
The will of God is to endure, i.e., be patient (Jas. 1:12-14); not waiting for something to happen, but enduring what is happening. Remember the devil comes to steal the Word with affliction to cause you to fail, to quit, and go back into sin (See Mark 4:15-20). When you are faced with a fiery trial, including this Coronavirus pandemic, “let patience have her perfect work, that you may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing” (James 1:4).