These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith-of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire- may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.
-1 Peter 1:7
Lift weights and you'll find yourself sore. Decide to run a 10K race and you'll have to push through pain. Work on your marriage and you'll have to have tough conversations about those easily overlooked growth areas. Buy a house and you'll have to be disciplined and ruthless in saving for a down payment. As much as we'd like to have maturity come easy, it seems that challenge and growth are inseparable.
The people Peter was writing to (exiles scattered throughout the provinces of Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia) didn't have much money, and their neighbors and coworkers were slandering them for their faith. Even more, these exiles most likely didn't have social status and therefore had no real opportunities for advancement. All of that together created a challenging situation. But Peter says that what they did have in one another and in Christ was of greater worth than gold. Not only that, but this hidden wealth became more pure and strong in opposition. Again we find that challenge and growth are inseparable.
God, help me to welcome challenges. Give me eyes to see what you're doing in me in times of difficulty. Give me faith to believe that what I have in you is of greater worth than gold. Amen.
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