6 In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. 7 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 1:6-7
What we experience here on earth is just a training ground for when we get to heaven.
Many years ago while in the Air Force, they sent me to Survival School. They trained us to evade our “captors” as if in a live prisoner of war camp. The “interrogators” tried to get us to talk. Of course we had nothing to say – quite literally because it was training for us. If we weren’t resisting enough, the interrogator would stop the session, hand us a card, have us read it, and resume the interrogation. The gist of the cards said, “You’re not resisting enough. Try harder. Don’t give these guys any information at all” and “Try again. These people are not your friends.” I didn’t fully grasp the “game” that was being played until it was almost over. In other words, I wasn’t learning my lessons in the mock POW setting. I had to be retrained over and over again until I resisted. I was a slow learner.
Similarly, our life is a training ground for heaven. Are you a fast learner or a slow learner? If we aren’t being patient, we’ll go back into the patience-producing scenario until we get it right. If we’re not loving our brothers and sisters, he’ll put us in a situation where we are forced to love them or we go back into it again until we get it right. The situations we find ourselves in really are for our own good because we are learning more and more to lean on Him for our strength and joy.
It’s not rocket science but we’re often slow learners. It’s as if we know what to do but we get in the way of what He’s trying to teach us.
Being refined by the fire doesn’t come without significant cost.