Revelation 2 and 3 serve as a first century report card for 7 different churches in Asia. Like a child’s progress report in the first marking period of a new school year, this piece of paper revealed strengths and weaknesses. Everyone responds differently to pressure. During the hour of trial of a test, some students rise to the occasion while others fold under the stress of remembering all they studied.
[You should] be exceedingly glad on this account, though now for a little while you may be distressed by trials and suffer temptations, 7 So that [the genuineness] of your faith may be tested, [your faith] which is infinitely more precious than the perishable gold which is tested and purified by fire. [This proving of your faith is intended] to redound to [your] praise and glory and honor when Jesus Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One) is revealed, 1 Peter 1:6-7.
According to Matthew 16:18-19, Jesus describes Peter as a spiritual rock. Yet, when Peter faced his own hour of trial following Jesus’ arrest, he failed miserably by denying Jesus three times in public, Mark 14:72. During the first breakfast Jesus has with his disciples after rising from the dead, Jesus restores Peter’s role as a spiritual leader. Yet, this isn’t without disappointment and humility of Peter’s past failure.
Because you have guarded and kept My word of patient endurance [have held fast the [b]lesson of My patience with the [c]expectant endurance that I give you], I also will keep you [safe] from the hour of trial (testing) which is coming on the whole world to try those who dwell upon the earth. 11 I am coming quickly; hold fast what you have, so that no one may rob you and deprive you of your crown, Revelation 3:10-11.
One of the 7 churches in Asia receives a message from the angel of the Church in Philadelphia. The passage above serves as a direct warning to Philadelphia. The hour of trial is approaching, perhaps like God’s servant in Job 2:7-9. Those who are alert, sober and spiritually awake will be able to withstand upcoming trials. Those caught off guard like Peter will have to turn to repentance and lean on Jesus for future tests. May this blog prepare you for your own hour of trial.
by Jay Mankus