The best answer I’ve heard was given by John Piper in a seminary class on I Peter.
He was illustrating 1 Peter 1:6-7, and said something like this –
You Are A Pier
Imagine that you are a pier stretching out over the ocean. Just as every pier rests on pilings, so our lives rest on pilings of health, job, and friends to give us joy and security.
But when you were saved you saw that only Jesus Christ could give you the joy and security you craved — and you invited Him to be the Super-Piling of your life.
As you rested your weight on Him, you found that He was strong and solid, and you felt security and peace like you’d never known.
But even though most of our weight is resting on Jesus Christ, some of our security and satisfaction still rests on other pilings — like health, or employment, or friendships.
And to the extent that we rest on other pilings we will have less security and joy in Jesus Christ.
Trials Are Storm Waves
So, in great love and wisdom, God sends trials — storm waves — against our pier.
Every trial that comes our way shakes a piling we rest on. Maybe a strange pain in your side shakes the piling of health, or rumors of layoffs shake the piling of employment, or an awkward conversation shakes the piling of friendships.
When these other pilings get shaken, that reminds us that Jesus Christ cannot be shaken. He is the Super-Piling.
And when we see that, we take whatever security and satisfaction we had resting on other pilings, and put it onto Jesus Christ, relying on Him more and more.
That´s why God sends trials, to help us see the weakness of other pilings, so we will take our trust off other pilings, and place it all the more in Jesus Christ.
The less we rely on other pilings, and the more we rely on Jesus Christ, the more security and joy we will have.
Which is why we can rejoice in trials. Because even though it’s hard when pilings shake, God is doing this to give us stronger faith in Christ, so we can experience even more security and joy in Him.
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And here are some related posts you might find helpful –
- Asking Why? Here’s God’s Loving Purpose For Every Trial
- Does God Ordain Every Trial?
- Spurgeon’s Take On Trials
- How Hudson Taylor Saw Difficulties
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