What is faith if it is not tested? But do we look at trials as building our spiritual muscles?
Peter said, “Be glad about this, even though it may now be necessary for you to be sad for a while because of the many kinds of trials you suffer. Their purpose is to prove that your faith is genuine. Even gold, which can be destroyed, is tested by fire; and so your faith, which is much more precious than gold, must also be tested so that it may endure.” (1 Peter 1:6-7a GNB)
Three of the things God chose to conceal deep within the bowels of the earth…
* and diamonds.
In order for these to be useful…
* gold must be purified through a fiery furnace to remove all impurities, drawing off the dross, that its worth be revealed…
* coal must be crushed and burned to release its power and energy…
* diamonds must suffer the cleaving of the jeweler’s sharp chisel and the friction of the polishing wheel to release their greatest beauty.
The crucible of fiery trials tests our faith, bringing to the surface and discarding the dross of sin. The crushing of circumstances presses upon us to express the remains of self and achieve God’s purpose, infusing us with His power and energy. The cleaving blows of afflictions chisel away at the crusty layers of our hearts’ hardness, while the friction of irritations sands down the rough edges.
“Their purpose is to prove that your faith is genuine” and to leave behind the pure essence of spiritual maturity.
An old Chinese proverb says, “The gem cannot be polished without friction, nor man perfected without trials.” God knows the worth, the power, and the beauty hidden deep within our hearts and only that which is contrary to our comfort releases the precious qualities within us.
Peter exhorts us, “Beloved, do not be amazed and bewildered at the fiery ordeal which is taking place to test your quality, as though something strange (unusual and alien to you and your position) were befalling you.” (1 Peter 1:12 Amp)
After everything had been ripped from Job’s heart and his hands, in reply to his wife’s “advice” to curse God and die, he said, “Shall we indeed accept good from God, and shall we not accept adversity?” (Job 2:10b NKJV)
How will we know the strength and extent of our faith if it is not tested? Untried faith is worthless. Is God’s power revealed in our good health or when we have money in the bank? Trials forge our witness, declaring what God has done in our circumstances. If we have no trials, how can we tell others what God is capable of doing?
All trials have a purpose; it is up to us to find out what it is and to grow because of them.
God knows the worth, the power, and the beauty hidden deep within your heart and only what is contrary to your comfort will sometimes release those precious, spiritual qualities within you.
May the Lord bless you with tested faith!