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The Testing of Faith
1Pet 1:6-7 tells us we may be in heaviness through manifold temptations; various pressures, testings, and troubles. We are told these all work to perfect or purify our faith. All Christians eventually have their faith tested or tried. In order for our faith to be useful, like gold it must have the impurities burned off. The fire does not improve the gold, but it burns off that which is not gold. The same with our faith. All Christians have real, saving faith, but like gold, we also have impurities that contaminate our faith. It is as we live by an uncontaminated, tested faith, that we achieve genuine, lasting, heart change and fruitfulness. We are then able to walk out the victories of Christ over the world, over the flesh and over the Devil. It is the process that purifies our faith.
Life Uncovers Our Heart
We must not be surprised that life has a way of uncovering our heart. How many of us have been surprised at our turmoil and angry responses to life's problems; our response to our difficulties reveal the true condition of our heart. The Lord, in His kindness, allows us to clearly see our spiritual needs. Remember, the heart is not easy to see, it always hides and says that it is good and has no need of change!
If We Are Wise We Learn To Evaluate Our Heart
If we are wise, we will take note of our responses to problems; reversals, pressures, failures, sicknesses, etc., all cause a response. Do they reveal a heart settled, trusting in the Lord, or a heart full of turmoil and worries, depressed and angry? We will never be able to avoid all painful circumstances or conditions while in this life, but, as the people of God, when pain comes, we can then evaluate our heart condition and make deep inward changes if necessary.
Pain is Not Our Enemy
Our enemies are the Devil and fleshly appetites; they work together, and they have a contaminating, destructive effect on our faith. In order to change, we need to see ourselves with God's eyes and pain is often the tool God uses to motivate us to believe what He says.
All genuine Christians are in the process of heart change, of having our heart uncovered by God and pain is a tool like no other that demonstrates or reveals our heart condition. God has taken the time to forewarn us that there will be all sorts of painful difficulties in this life, and he tells us to not lose heart, for they will have a beneficial effect for the Christian. This is the message of 1Pet 1:6-7.
So, look up, there are more for you than against you, and there is more right with you than wrong with you! It is an uncontaminated, tested faith that God wants. As we allow the processes of God to go forward, with a thankful heart, we find that deep inward change takes place which results in an uncontaminated, tested, purified faith!
God bless you,