1 Peter 1:7
So that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.
A Tested Faith Is a Trusted Faith
I’m not sure who said it, but I remember hearing that a faith that’s never been tested is a faith that cannot be trusted, which would seem to be true. How would we ever know how strong our faith is unless it was tested by fiery trials? Peter says that it can be tested so as to prove the genuineness or realness of our faith. This test will prove to make it more precious than gold, which over time will perish, but our faith never will. Can you think back at the last trial or test of your faith and say you handled it well? How hard is it to praise God in the storms of life? Job so wisely wrote that the Lord gives and the Lord takes away, so blessed be His name (Job 1:21). Even if He were to slay us, will we trust in Him and praise His name (Job 13:15)?
Persistence Pays Off
Those who persevere are those who pursue God, and in our perseverance of doing good for others, we glorify God (Rom. 2:7). As God tests us all, He is purifying us as the silversmith does silver (Psalm 66:10). Any metal that is refined is made more precious and valuable to the seller. In the same way, God refines each of us to make us more valuable for His glory and for the work He has for us to do in service to His kingdom. Our work on this Earth will be revealed by the fire, and what remains is all that we did for His glory and for His purpose, not our own. So each one of us will have the quality of our works made known some day (1 Cor. 3:13).
A Tested Faith Is a more Genuine Faith
I touched on this earlier, but James develops this even further by saying that the testing of our faith produces perseverance. In our sufferings, we actually participate in the sufferings of Christ (1 Pet. 4:13). Jesus’ advice to the church in Laodicea was to buy from Him gold that has been refined by fire (trials, testings), which will help us to be spotless and blameless on the day that we stand before Him (Rev. 3:18). I’m not exactly sure how that works, but He disciples every one of His own, whom He loves, and reproves those who are His (Rev. 3:19). Discipline and love cannot be separated (Prov. 3:12; Heb 12:7). Just ask any parent who loves their children.
A Closing Prayer
Father, I know that disciplining seems hard at the time, but it yields righteousness in me. It seems difficult at the present, but the end is what You are looking for in me. Thank You for Your patience with me, and help me to realize that the tests of my faith are to prove that I have a sincere, genuine faith and that it is intended for my good and not to harm me. In Jesus’ name I thank You and pray.
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