1 Peter 1:3-9
There is a tendency in the Christian tradition towards stoicism, as in
the proverbial British “stiff upper lip” or the Norwegian mantra “det kan bli verre”. (It could be worse)
So while I agree that various trials can be seen as tests there are times when
one is simply tired and could care less if faith proved less precious than gold
or not. “It is what it is” only works for so long and eventually “My God why
have you forsaken me” is a more appropriate response to trouble that multiplies
with every passing day. But it is precisely during those times when human hope
fades that we rejoice, albeit through tears, in the living hope that is kept
for us and not by us. Kept for us and not by us this inheritance of hope, if
you will, is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading. That means in practical
terms we can live through a difficult day or week or month or even, dear God, a
year, and not add to the weight of our troubles by blaming the failure of faith.
I think stoics live lonely lives even if they show great courage and fortitude.
We were created for community, to be like the One we have never seen and yet
still love, so the genuineness of faith is measured in the way we respond to
the needs of each other. There are times when various trials couldn't possibly be worse
which is why we do not suffer them alone.