I know what it means to have your faith tested. I don’t mean for a short while, but relentlessly for a period of several years. During that time, I was a pastor, preaching to my congregation about God’s faithfulness. But personally, I wasn’t feeling it. Perhaps, some of you are in a similar place as you read this post.
If you are, what I am about to say may not mean much right now, but here goes: don’t despise the trial of your faith. Why? Because the test of your faith is valuable. In fact, it’s priceless. In Peter’s first epistle, he wrote these words: “The trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perishes…” (1 Peter 1:7).
So ask the average Christian, which would he rather have, gold or his faith tried? Which do you think he or she would choose? Most likely, it would be the gold. I mean, who in his right mind would volunteer for adversity? We only go through personal challenges because we have no choice. Or because of the consequences of our actions.
As I reflect on my ordeal I alluded to in the first paragraph, I hated that experience. I did not take it with smiles. All I wanted to know was how do you spell relief. But deep down, I knew the only way out of my situation was to go through it. I prayed more each day than I used to. I fasted more. I paid close attention to everything—possible signs from God, thoughts, dreams—trying to make sure I did not miss the voice of God. I so desperately needed to hear from Him about my situation.
I was determined to be faithful through it all. But some days I didn’t come close to batting a thousand. Nonetheless, when I came out of that personal storm, I was changed for a lifetime. I hated the process while I was going through it. But when I came out of it, I told others I would not give anything for the benefits I received.
We can grow only so much through reading the Bible and going to church. Some biblical truths, we can learn only by experiencing them. That’s where the trial of our faith comes in. Some Christians will fervently pray only when they desperately need God to do something for them. At other times, their prayer time is nonchalant and Bible study is but a ritual.
When we are tested beyond ourselves, we feel compelled to reach out to someone higher than ourselves. That makes for intimate communion with God. For all these reasons and more, let us not despise the trial of our faith. It will procure for us what no value of silver and gold can.
Copyright © 2016 by Frank King. All rights reserved.