During the mid 90’s there was a television program called Grace Under Fire. Its main character, Brett Butler, was a recovering alcoholic and single mother who divorced her abusive husband of eight years. She’s yearning for a fresh new start in life and doesn’t want her children to make the same mistakes. The series goes on like any other with comedy bits, evolving relationships but she constantly runs into her ex-husband who is trying to win her back.
God’s grace is similar to this TV series. You see, we masquerade our appearance, parading with our enemies, putting our hands in the cookie jar hoping not get caught. Our limits have no boundaries, we are fearfully and wonderfully made and can’t even begin to comprehend that spiritual reality. It’s the responsibility of the faithful to remain in the fire and not get burned! At first glance, the thought and sound of that will make any sensible person cringe with painful affliction but my dear reader remaining in fire is necessary for spiritual growth. I’ll explain this later on but let’s look at this scriptural reference.
Then the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from trials, and to keep the unrighteous under punishment until the day of judgment,
2 Peter 2:9
Sometimes when life hits you, it seems to come in multitudes. One after the other, no pause or rest in-between but a whirlwind of onslaughts. These so-called trials are pressing us on every side (2 Cor. 4:8), at every path we take, from our rising up to even in our deepest sleep. Some of us have made mistakes that are costly like our TV actress and the desire of a new life may seem out of reach. The Lord is omniscient in that he knows how to rescue us as if He needed a lesson about such things. Noah understood this act of deliverance when he was given the task to repopulate the earth because a great flood would soon consume it entirely.
The enduring good soldier of Christ (Read 2 Tim. 2) has its privileges that have lost its luster in light of the Gospel hardships. Suffering under fire doesn’t appeal to us anymore, we shy away from any kind of strenuous spiritual activity that might compromise our secular relationships but we don’t see the fourth person in the fire. The one who has promised that His favor will sustain us throughout our ordeal. The people who survived the sword found grace in the wilderness; when Israel sought for rest (Jeremiah 31:2). His divine nature and incommunicable attributes allow for His Grace to see us pass the flames of ridicule, persecution, hatred, the list goes on and on.
The fire of life will one day be quenched and our mortal bodies made anew with resurrection assurance but until that day approaches we must continue to burn with passion. He keeps us in perfect peace (Isa.26:3) though the enemy may try again and again we have a blessed hope, a future home away from home, a grace that abounds much. Beloved, we are just passing through the fire and sins dominion has been abolished, new life regenerated and because of the cross, a love relationship with our heavenly father for all eternity.
“Paul was focusing on what was happening in him, not to him. Likewise, we can be sure that when something is happening to us, God is doing something in us–something that will shape us for eternity.”