“Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you” I Peter 4:12 (KJV)
It’s the sound a military veteran will never forget. Suddenly out of nowhere a bulldog of a person rounds the corner in a ‘Smokey the Bear’ hat using a gravelly voice that will stop a freight train in its tracks. This drill instructor has the knack for putting the brim of his hat just millimeters away from the bridge of a person’s nose. Their job is to train young people for combat and along the way some will be eliminated for not having what it takes. They will be washed out of basic training and eliminated from the military. At times, a proper preparation by their recruiter could have averted an early departure from the military.
Recruiters have a vested interest in preparing their recruits for basic training. If a person arrives at boot camp having no clue as to what to expect, they stand a much greater chance of being eliminated based upon failure to adapt. These entry-level discharges are usually of a non-descript nature as even the military branches understand that not everyone is cut out for the military. Conversely, a troop who is prepared and understands the mission of basic military training will stand a very high likelihood of success and avoid being eliminated early.
The successful recruiter is one that routinely covers areas of training that a recruit is likely to encounter at boot camp. Subjects such as saluting, facing movements, making a bed military style and other motivational subjects are commonly taught in a recruiting office to prepare for success. In addition to recruiting fresh talent for the military, recruiters are also measured on the degree of success their applicants have in staying in the military.
Pastors and teachers who prepare Christians for the difficulties they encounter in life will find the same principle to be true. Christians who are equipped for the “fiery trials” tend to be survivors and overcomers. No one should ever be told that by accepting Jesus Christ their life will be a rose garden with classical music playing in the background.
Instead, a believer in Christ will experience resistance to the gospel message. He will possibly be made a point of ridicule. However, if a Christian endures the persecution often the very same people who poked fun will seek out the believer when life takes an unexpected turn for the worst. They may corner you near a vending machine and ask you to pray for their family member or personal situation. At times, they may come to you for advice. While they may have ridiculed you in the past, at that time they were also watching the integrity of your walk. As Paul told the church at Galatia, “And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.” Galatians 6:9 (KJV)
Lord, help me to be prepared for the trials which are to stretch my faith seemingly to the breaking point. Help me to rely upon the strength that only Christ can give. Please strengthen me for the journey you have for me today.