Greetings from the Oʻahu Church of Christ. My name is Jackson Cheng, and I am excited to be able to launch my very first podcast series entitled Refined By Fire. It is a series inspired from First Peter chapter one, verses three through nine in looking at the Apostle Peter and his life. It is in part also motivated out of what is going on around the world with the COVID-19 pandemic. With shelter in place orders throughout the United States and here in Hawaii, and also around the world, staying connected as a church has become more important than ever. So I wanted to do something to help our church members to have another avenue to get a little more dose of the Bible and faith in their lives.
Let's jump right in. First Peter chapter one, verse three through nine. If you have your Bible with you, you're welcome to read along. If you want to just listen, that's awesome too. But verse three it says, "Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. 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. Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls."
The Apostle Peter pens this in the latter part of his life, as he encourages the disciples to continue to persevere and grow in their faith. And he talks about how our faith will be refined by fire just as his own faith had to be refined. Right, it says, though, now for a little while, you have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. You know, I thought this would be fitting for us today.