God allows situations into our lives to test-drive our faith. In other words, testy people or unlikeable circumstances may be permitted into our lives in order for us to put our faith into action.
Do we really believe what we say? Or are we just talking the talk and not walking the walk?
For example, let’s say I wanted to buy a new car. First of all, I would sit down with my husband Coby and talk about what we could afford. Then, I would spend countless hours meandering through the worldwide web looking at cars that would best suite our family. And of course, I would probably glance at a few options that may not be a good choice, but nonetheless, are quite tempting. I would also read some car reviews by actual owners and peruse the Consumer Magazine car rating (just because my dad always told me to). And then, the day would come that my hubby and I would drive to the car dealer and look at the car we wanted. We would try out the seats and the beautiful amenities. Satellite radio. Sun-roof. Internet for the kids. The car salesman would now be hounding us and we would comply by asking to take it for a test drive. Why? Because we want to know first-hand how the car handles. We don’t want to just hear it from somebody else.
In much the same way, you can say you believe in God. You can memorize a few bible verses and sing a few worship songs. You can go to church and even be arm-twisted into serving in the kid’s area. You can take a bible study class. You can even be extremely bold and tell someone else you believe in God. You can go through the all the motions. But you will never know God in the deep, rich, abundant way that you should until you experience Him for yourself. It must become personal.
“Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” James 1:2-4
God tests our faith to produce steadfastness, which is also translated as endurance. It comes from the Greek word hypomonḗ and is defined as “a remaining behind, a patient enduring.” Not getting out in the lead. Not running your own show. Patiently enduring the challenges God allots in our lives so that (keep reading James 1:2-4)”…steadfastness will have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.”
Isn’t that what we all are after? A mature faith. A steadfast faith. Perfect and complete, lacking nothing. One more verse…
“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 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.” 1 Peter 1:6-7
May you find hope in knowing that our trials are but for a little while. They are temporary. They will not last forever. And yes, we will be grieved by our various trials, but we can hold on to this truth: “We are tested so that the genuineness of our faith may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.” God allows us to be tested over and over again so that we become seasoned faith walkers.
Stick in there, my friend. Heaven is worth this crazy ride!