Peter says something about our thinking and perception with respect to trials: “Do not think a stranger has come to your house or that the experience you are having is a stranger to your life when fiery trials arrive. Don’t sing ‘There a Stranger in My House’ because your communion with Christ checks some luggage with Glory and some luggage with trials. They are not strangers but part of the shareholders concierge service for people who lived in your community.”
Trials introduce themselves so that you may become familiar with them; they were part of Jesus’ life, so they are part of your life. 1 Peter 4:12 and 13 give us this understanding of glory and trials. The trials aren’t strangers. They measure us like tailors putting a line on us, getting invasive to tailor glory to our personal dimensions, and mess with our comfort zones. Trials may feel like intrusive, depersonalizing servicemen, but they are part of the concierge package provided on our hotel level in the kingdom.
“How may I help you, sir?” in the mouth of a trial is really a way of learning how to make more glory available for your stay, for your ambiance in kingdom atmosphere. You go to eat and return to find that trials have changed your sheets, given you a new, more comfortable pillow, provided you some soap and shampoo. You check the closet to get dressed, and someone has ironed your shirts and made some critical tailoring adjustments to your britches. Your jacket fits like a glove. You walk out with a clean smell, a new fragrance, whiter teeth, and clothes that fit your true character.
Trials will remodel your identity. Glory alters your glory through transformative experiences. Trials do no less! Glory isn’t just a change of scenery, and trials are not intruders. “Think it not strange or that a stranger is in our house.” Get to know what surrounds Jesus. The koinonia of His experience fills your life. Perhaps the deep tissue massage at the spa from the Jesus method will release something captured in your muscles that is limiting your fuller function. The spa attendants are your friends! They don’t ask, “What level of pressure would you prefer, however; they just go for it and dig their elbows into your spine!
“Drink plenty of water,” they say, “I’m going to be loosening some poisons from your muscles.” You want to scream, “No,” and you feel a bit sore for a while, but in result, you are nearer full function.
Soon, you see your friends approaching or ringing your doorbell, and you greet them by name: “Hello! You can put your tools here in your room. Welcome to my life, friends of Jesus.”
They soon begin to share with you the stories of what Jesus experienced when trials came to His life, and you discover that they were intimate associates of His sinless, perfect Life. You are suddenly expanded in understanding of what it takes to walk His walk in order to have the koinonia of His Glory.
The modern concept that Jesus did all this for you so you would never have a discomfort, never experience a painful moment, never hear a spiteful word, or never have a cancer cut out of your gut seems far removed. You aren’t staying in a nursery or hot house like a rare orchid someone wishes to display at a flower show! You are a warrior tested by conflict, and you realize trials aren’t the enemy but the measuring system of battlefield readiness.