Testing in Progress

by Lee Buford on February 2, 2011

Testing of any kind is not generally associated with joy, or anything desirable for that matter. In most cases it’s associated with pain, hardship, or trial, accompanied by a steady dose of dread and anxiety. In all cases, however, testing produces or reveals an outcome, a benchmark or a result from which comparisons are drawn and destinies shaped.

Students undergo testing in every subject to gauge knowledge and learning progress. Products and materials undergo testing to ensure worthiness, stability, and reliability. And this weekend football players will test themselves against each other in the Super Bowl…the biggest game, on the biggest stage, at the highest level of the sport. These are obvious, and somewhat calculated, examples.

Somewhere else this week a family will lose a child or a home, maybe even both. A teenager will face tough decisions as to whether or not to give in to peer pressure and do something he or she knows is not right. Many others will be diagnosed with cancer or terminal illness, or they will be beaten or killed for what they believe. Testing and trials are unavoidable and often times unexpected, but they always serve a purpose.

As Christians, trials serve to test our faith. Jesus was tested in the wilderness, and you and I should expect no less during our time on earth. However, we must also remember that such trials serve to make our faith genuine, to produce steadfastness and ultimately perfection upon the return of our Lord and Savior.

[3] for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. [4] And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.  (James 1:3-4 ESV)

It’s easy to exhibit bold faith when things are going well, when faced with little or no opposition. It’s another thing entirely to rejoice in our sufferings, to believe in the ultimate purposes for which we are being tested. It’s a maturing faith that regards the trials we face as catalysts for our own sanctification and God’s glory.

[7] 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 1:7 ESV)

He is good, faithful, and just. He is gracious and merciful. And these trials are our opportunities to rejoice in Him, to glorify Him, and to make much of Him. These trials and tests reveal the evidences of genuine faith.

Will your faith be proven genuine?

 

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