Why Our Faith Needs to be Tested
What if our faith was never tested? Would we grow?
Consider James 1:2-4 (ESV):
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.
It would be easy to laugh or scream at the words “count it all joy” when you face a trial – unless we understood the meaning of the rest of the text. Only when our faith is tested (when we’re feeling mistreated or facing some other devastating ordeal) will we experience firsthand God’s power and intervention. And, consequently, find out how strong our faith is.
“But let’s be real,” you say. “Counting it all joy when a loved one faces a terminal illness or when a dream dies simply goes against human reasoning.”
I agree. But we’re not talking about “human reasoning.”
I’m convinced God knows what He’s talking about. (God’s always pleased whenever I finally come to this conclusion. 😉 ) And even though I still struggle with anxiety whenever I imagine the worst possible outcome, my faith in God’s ability to carry and to change me in difficult seasons is growing.
This is where joy comes in.
I have no doubt that the devil loves to get us thinking the worst-case scenario to keep us from confidently trusting God. He loves to make us forget that God is far greater and much more powerful than he (the devil) can ever be. Therefore, I meditate on scripture that reminds me about God’s love, mercy, power, ability, compassion, etc., etc., etc.!
Being joyful in tribulation isn’t about being happy when bad things happen. Rather, we can have confidence that through it all, either despite the trial or because of it, we can grow when we abide in God’s presence through prayer and reading His Word. Furthermore, finding joy in trials is what sets a believer apart from the rest of the world. It allows those around us to see the gospel hope that resides inside us.
Let’s pray to our heavenly Father now.
Father, show us how different we can be from the person we are today. Give us a glimpse of what we’ll be like when we mature in our faith. And, if we can handle the truth, show us what our future self will be like if we don’t change.
In the meanwhile, Lord, help us (and remind us how important it is) to count it all joy as we trust that You are in control – no matter what we’re going through, and especially when we can’t “feel” You. Amen.
What about you?
I’d love to hear your thoughts about this post. (Others might also benefit from your comment.)
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Thank you, it is always so good to read your articles. God bless you and all you do. Dave
Your kind words encourage me, Dave. Thank you so much.
What an inspiring message. May God expand your horizons. Amen , I’m encouraged.
I’m glad God used my message to encourage you, Taa. Thank you for taking the time to let me know!
Happiness depends on happenings,
Joy depends on Jesus!
Thank you, Fellowbeliever.
Thank you Sheryl. I always like to remember that Satan is just a created being and that God is in control. He allowed this into my life to help me be more Christlike and conform to his image. I need to submit to the Potter’s Hand. I currently have 2 problems that would have devastated me in the past, but thanks be to God I am starting to apply his word more faithfully. And thanks for your years of gentle correction and guidance. ♥️
You are amazing, Barbara. You’re kind, encouraging – and a real fighter! I love watching God’s work in you, dear friend.
Thank you for your article Sheryl. I have been through many trials in my life and continue to have them as we all do. Sometimes it is hard to walk around with a smile when your being torn apart inside. I struggle and have to remind myself that God is always in control no matter what and will sustain me no matter the outcome. Thank you for providing this scripture and article, it is just what I needed today.
Thank you, Gina, for your comment. I’m sorry you’ve been through so much – more pain than I can begin to imagine. I appreciate your heart. Your trust in our sovereign, compassionate God is a real example of faith.
(Also, thank you for dropping by Today Can Be Different.)
I have often seen God’s mighty hand when facing extreme trials. He has brought the sweetest answers to my prayers through these trials. We certainly need to “Let patience have her perfect work that we can be complete and lacking nothing.” Isn’t that an amazing promise?
Hi, Janice! Yes, it is an amazing promise that God as we persevere in our trials, God will use our perseverance to bring us to completeness – lacking nothing! Wow!!