“… for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that your faith, of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire, may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.”
1 Peter 1:6b-7
Untested faith may be real faith, but it is sure to be immature faith. It is likely to remain immature as long as it never faces difficulties.
When all things seem against it, faith often prospers. Storms are faith’s illuminators. When a calm reigns on the sea, spreading a ship’s sails is futile because the ship will never leave its harbor. However, when the howling winds rush forth causing the water to crash intensely around the ship, even though the vessel may rock and its deck may be flooded by the waves, it is only then that it will progress towards its destination.
No stars gleam as brightly as those which glisten in the polar sky. No water tastes so sweet as that which springs amid the desert sand. And no faith is so precious as that which lives and triumphs through adversity. Tested faith brings experience. You would never have believed your own weakness had you not needed to pass through trials. And you would never have known God’s strength had His strength not been needed to carry you through. Faith is precious, and since they may build faith they are precious too.
This shouldn’t, however, discourage anyone who is young in faith. You’ll face enough trials without even looking for them! These faith building tests will be measured out to you in due time. Meanwhile, if you currently lack experience, thank God for what grace you’ve received and praise Him for the degree of holy confidence you’ve attained so far, while honestly asking Him to bring you even more. Continue to walk in faith, and, through success and adversity, you will have more and more of the blessing of God until your faith is powerful enough to move mountains!
Question: What trials have you faced lately, and how could they be working to mature your faith?
Originally written by Charles H Spurgeon
Updated to modern English, by Darren Hewer, 2008.
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