_______ April 4 ______
SIFTED BY FIERY TRIALS
Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you; but rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ s sufferings, that when His glory is revealed, you may also he glad with exceeding joy.__1 Peter 4:12-13__
It is always difficult to hold fast the beginning of our confidence firm unto the end, and the difficulty increased when there are hidden influences constantly at work to bring in another spirit, a counterworking element, on Satan’s side of the question
In the absence of the persecution there have drifted into our ranks men who appear sound and their Christianity unquestionable, but who, if persecution should arise, would go out from us. In the crisis they would see force in specious reasons that have had an influence on their minds. Satan has prepared various snares to meet varied minds.
When the law of God is made void, the church will be sifted by fiery trials, and a larger proportion than we now anticipate will give heed to seducing spirits and doctrines of devils. Instead of being strengthened when brought into strait places, many prove that they are not living branches of the true Vine, they bear no fruit, and the husbandman taketh them away.
The Christian is to be “rooted and grounded” in the truth, that he may stand firm against the temptations of the enemy. He must have a continual renewal of strength, and he must hold firmly to Bible truth. Fables of every kind will be brought in to seduce the believer from his allegiance to God, but he is to look up, believe in God, and stand firmly rooted and grounded in the truth. (Evangelism, 360-361)
Jesus now explained to His disciples that His own life of self-abnegation was an example of what their should be. Calling about Him, with the disciples, the people who had been lingering near, He said, “‘If any man will come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me.” … Jesus bade His followers take up the cross and bear it after Him. To the disciples His words, though dimly comprehended, pointed to their submission to the most bitter humiliation, – submission even into death for the sake of Christ. (The Desire of Ages, 416-417)