Have faith in one as you go through the other

No one grows up liking tests.  Ask any grade school, middle school, high school or college student and they’ll tell you tests aren’t fun.  I suppose it’s human nature.

Tests, by their very nature put us under pressure, they gauge our resolve and their outcome, the grade, tells us where we stand, often in relation to our peers.  We’ve all taken tests and not done as well as we hoped we would.  But tests are necessary.

Without tests we would have no way of knowing if we had learned anything.  Without tests of our physical abilities we wouldn’t know how strong, fast or proficient we had trained our bodies to be.  Tests are illustrative of our progress.  Tests tell us things, important things about ourselves.  Our faith isn’t any different according to Peter.

Here’s what he had to say in part:  “… we have a priceless inheritance—an inheritance that is kept in heaven for you, pure and undefiled, beyond the reach of change and decay.   And through your faith, God is protecting you by his power until you receive this salvation, which is ready to be revealed on the last day for all to see.   So be truly glad. There is wonderful joy ahead, even though you must endure many trials for a little while.   These trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold—though your faith is far more precious than mere gold. So when your faith remains strong through many trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world.   (1 Peter 1: 4-7)

Peter was writing to several churches that were just getting their start and they were facing some tough times.  He was trying to encourage them the tests they were experiencing were not only normal, they were necessary.  He said their trials would show them their faith was genuine and the difficulties would make them better.  Like a student studying or an athlete working out, the hard part makes us better.  When it comes to our faith we know working through difficulties makes us stronger and the reward is unlike any calculus grade or sports victory we could ever experience.

The joy, glorious and inexpressible, is a reward promised to the faithful.  It’s being kept for us in heaven where there is no decay, no impurity and no change.  Our Father has promised us this and we need only have faith to receive it.  So welcome the rough times as a means to prove to yourself what you believe.  They will strengthen your faith.  They will bring you closer to God.

Sometimes our tests seem too much to overcome.  The thing is, that’s when we need to remember the promise made to us about the end of the game.

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