sacred flames


1 Peter 1:3-9

These trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold— though your faith is far more precious than mere gold (v.7).

In November 2011, Mike and Nancy Rogers were married as the lodge in which they were supposed to be wed burned to the ground behind them. The blaze destroyed the beautiful building—including a kitchen, conference center, pool, and guesthouses—as the wedding party retreated to another building for the ceremony. The wedding gifts and flowers were destroyed, but Nancy said, “We lost all that stuff, but that’s not important to us. We got the most important things.”

It’s true, as the flames surged, new life—a sacred, covenant relationship (Genesis 2:24)—was established. Whether before, during, or after the ceremony, all married couples will be tried by the faith-testing flames of this world. Paul wrote, “Trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold” (1 Peter 1:7). If you, or someone you know, is experiencing a time of testing in marriage, there are three things to keep in mind:

• Trials can torch the stuff of this world, but they can’t burn away true faith and love. There is a “wonderful joy ahead” (v.6) for those who persist in their faith and in loving their spouse—even when material things or other precious things have been lost.

• Trials can refine faith and marital relationships. When you choose to “love [God] even though you have never seen Him” (v.8), even as the stuff you see is crumbling around you, your precious faith and marriage is being tempered—made stronger (v.7).

• Trials are temporal, but God’s promises are eternal. Keep your focus on Jesus and your great reward of salvation (v.9) when the fires of this world are raging around you. They’re simply sacred flames that can purify your faith and marriage.

—Tom Felten


Read Romans 12:10-12 and apply Paul’s instructions on love and perseverance to your marriage and/or close relationships.


How have you been viewing God and your spouse (if you’re married) when you’ve been going through trials? Why is it vital that we see trials as purifying agents?


Shane and Shane with Phil Wickham - Liberty (Beautiful Acoustic Music Video) from shane-and-shane on GodTube.