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Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Faith Testing

In summary of 1 Peter 1:7a it says,
“These troubles come to prove that your faith is pure. This purity of faith is worth more than gold”

Bottom Line:
Trials come to prove your faith is pure and genuine.  Purity of faith has the highest value in life.

What this means to me:
This verse reminds me that troubles and trials that come my way are a way of purifying and strengthening my faith.  To God my faith is more precious that any of the most valuable things (i.e Gold.)  God has repeatedly told me in his Word that he will meet my needs.  In every promise is a condition and that condition is that I trust in Him.  The more I trust God, the more God is able to meet needs that come up in my life.  What I’m learning is that faith doesn’t come from just talking about it.  Faith is more like a muscle which gets developed as it is used.  Like building any muscle, the more I use it, the more it gets stretched and the more God is able to bless me.  The circumstances that God creates to stretch my faith is the "troubles/trials":  They come to show my faith is genuine, being tested as fire will test gold.  There are four common trials that God uses to test faith, and, I have found that I’m in one right now. These are opportunities to develop my faith so I can trust God more.
  • The Pressure Test - this one asks the question, “How will you handle stress?" Will I depend on myself, or will I depend on God? Psalm 50:15 says, “Call on me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you will honor me" (NIV). Will I turn to God when i’m in trouble and not to other things?
  • The People Test - God often uses people in my life to test and stretch and develop your faith. This test asks, “How will I handle disappointment?” Life is often disappointing. Plans don’t turn out the way we planned them. But the most disappointing thing in life is people. I get disappointed by people because I often expect them to meet a need that only God himself can meet. This is a test!  In this my problem is not the people in my life. My problem is my response to the people in my life. People are not the problem, and they’re not the answer to the problem, either. The answer is God. When I expect other people to be my savior, I’m setting yourself up for disappointment.
  • The Persistence Test - this one asks: "Will I keep my commitments?" Life is about making commitments. The problem most of us have today is that we are only half committed to two dozen things instead of being totally committed to the one or two things in life that really matter for now and eternity. Such a waste!  If i’m weak I turn toward giving excuses. If I’m strong I’ll find the time and way to do what I said I’ll do.  This is a test of the kind of character you’re going to develop.
  • The Priorities Test - This is the most important test, and it asks, "Who will be first in my life?" How will I you know if God is really first priority in your life? By asking myself three questions: What do I think about the most? Where does my money go first? How do I spend my time? Answers to these reveal the priorities of my life.

God’s Word tells me that “God blesses those who patiently endure testing and temptation. Afterward they will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him” (James 1:12 NLT).  This crown he mentions is a symbol of all that God wants to do in my life — all the blessings he wants to bestow on me, all the needs he wants to meet, all the rewards he wants to eventually give me in Heaven. Such a great a deal if I can keep focused when troubles and trials come my way!