Read 1 Peter 4:12-13
12 Dear friends,don’t be surprised at the fiery trials you are going through,as if something strange were happening to you. 13 Instead,be very glad-for these trials make you partners with Christ in his suffering,so that you will have the wonderful joy of seeing his glory when it is revealed to all the world. (NLT)
We sometimes hear of Christians who have ‘mountain top experiences’. These describe a time when God was especially close,when our love for him and his love for us was utterly clear,when circumstances were such that we could experience the goodness of God without ambiguity or question.
We dare not despise such experiences,cynically dismissing them as dangerous emotionalism or mistaken mysticism. Yet we dare not assume they are the norm either. As our text points out,we ought not be surprised when life gets hard and we find ourselves in deep valleys.
At such times we need to recognise that in order to get to the mountain top we need to climb the slope. And that can be hard and dangerous work. Or to put it more in Peter’s terms,in order to share in Christ’s glory we also share in his sufferings. Mountain tops don’t just appear out of nowhere. They result from some hard work and some difficulties.
By all means desire and treasure mountain top experiences. But also remember there are no short cuts to the mountain top.