TESTING OUR FAITH

Scripture Reading: I Peter 1:3-9

“In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith — more precious though it be tested by fire — may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.” (I Peter 1:6,7)

We are looking at ways God is using this trial that we are experiencing for our good (Romans 8:28). Peter wrote this epistle to Christians who were undergoing severe and deadly persecution. Some had been imprisoned for their faith; others had been put to death. They were grieving. They were facing times of uncertainty and yet they continued in their faith. Peter says that trials test our faith and that we can rejoice in them for they are purifying our faith.

This passage is very comforting to me today. First, it reminds me that there is an end to the is trial — “though now for a little while.” It will not go on forever. We saw in yesterday’s devotion that we can rejoice in our trials because they produce endurance. We must endure to the end. We may be in grief because of the hardships and perhaps even the death of some of our loved ones. Yet, God is at work and He will deliver us from this crisis.

This passage also tells me that this trial is necessary — “if necessary.” It is occurring because God considers it necessary. He is getting our attention. None of us have ever faced anything like this before. It is necessary for us to examine our priorities. It is necessary for us to have our faith strengthened. Yes, our faith is being tested. We are being reminded that we are in desperate need of Jesus Christ, that He is with us in this trial and that He alone can deliver us from it.

Our faith is precious to God. We are saved by grace through faith (Ephesians 2:8,9). We are justified by faith (Romans 5:1). We are to walk by faith, not by sight (II Corinthians 5:7). Without faith it is impossible to please God (Hebrews 11:6). God is testing our faith because it is precious to Him. He is making sure that our faith is genuine and He is therefore testing it by fire.

There is an ultimate purpose for the testing of the genuineness of our faith — that it “may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. Though you have not seen Him, you love Him. Though you do not now see Him, you believe in Him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls” (vs. 8,9). When we remain faithful, we bring praise, glory and honor to our Savior. Though we do not see Him, we love Him and believe in Him. The testing of our faith is the opportunity for us to glorify God, and it is our preparation to receive the ultimate outcome of our faith — the salvation of our souls. It is preparing us to glorify, praise and honor Jesus when He returns again.

Lord Jesus, You know what is necessary for me to grow in my faith. You are using this trial to test the genuineness of my faith. You are giving me the opportunity to bring praise, glory and honor to Your name. You are preparing me for the outcome of my faith — the salvation of my soul. You are preparing me for Your return. I rejoice that You are at work in my life. Though I do not see You, I love You and I believe in You.

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