1 Peter 4:12 Beloved, don’t be astonished at the fiery trial which has come upon you, to test you, as though a strange thing happened to you.
1 Corinthians 3:13 each man’s work will be revealed. For the Day will declare it, because it is revealed in fire; and the fire itself will test what sort of work each man’s work is.
When I was growing up, we used to have fire drills in school at least once a year. The fire alarm went off, causing you to shake from the sudden loud bell momentarily, but it was only seconds before you knew…. it was only a drill; you really didn’t expect a fire. Nevertheless, everyone present was expected to rush out the door (in an orderly fashion) to the parking lot. It was a nice break from class, that yearly fire drill.
These days, we get alerts on our TV from the Emergency Broadcast System. The annoying long “beep” noise is finally followed by the same drill-like announcement, “This is a test of the Emergency Broadcast System. If this was an actual emergency …”
These tests are not supposed to be “crying wolf” but actually serious rehearsals to prepare people for an actual crisis should one arise.
Throughout our lives, we face potential or actual dangers, threats, and real crises, various trials. Is it possible to see them as “drills” preparing us for eternity? I think so. Our whole life on Earth can be understood as a trial period, a God-ordained drill, a preparation for the real “fire” which will test every man’s work at the judgment seat of Christ; [2 Corinthians 5:10]
Your trials, fiery as they may be, are God’s drills, testing, shaping, and preparing you, even equipping you for the good works which will be richly rewarded in the world to come. Fiery trials produce gold, silver, and precious stones. Don’t panic, don’t succumb to fear, or be discouraged. Pray for the Lord’s grace to endure every drill, every test. The Lord is a refining fire; His work in and with you will endure forever, and the rewards will be amazing.