1 Peter 6:7 Identity: Genuinely Faithful

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 honour at the revelation of Jesus Christ.

Genuinely Faithful

I value comfort over testing.  I value relief over true change.  I would love to feel secure in my bed and cuddle with the pillows in sweet inactivity.  Commercials tend to reinforce this view.  I am sold products that minimize pain and free up time.  Somehow, if something takes time to solve, or pushes me hard, or causes me pain I have learned to process that it is wrong and to be avoided.  In such an environment genuine faith can not be refined and purified.  The image of testing and purifying are not ones of comfort.  In biblical terms a test quite often purifies that which is tested.  The test is not some whimsical examination to show an omniscient God what he already knows.  A test is a witness of God’s work to the believer which increases their faith.  It is a witness of God to the community of God so that they are purified.  It is a witness of God to unbelievers so that they are challenged in their unbelief.

The whole of the world was created to give glory to its creator.  The highest purpose of anything in existence is to give praise and worship to God.  The highest forms of praise are drawn from those who exhibit God’s power, grace, and love in their forbearance under persecution, slander, or physical illness.  Most people are pleasant, respectable, and well-behaved when the going is easy.  It is persecution and pain that shows us who we truly are.  Not only does it show us who we truly are, it also forms us into the person we are underneath.  For some people, they are shown to be faithless and they fall away.  For God’s children, they are shown more and more to be like Christ because God is forming Christ in them in their inner being.

Pray that you may be found to be faithful when the time of testing comes.  Then at the end of time Jesus will be glorified by the way that you lived under hardship and trials.

Prayer

Within me there are two people I could be.  There is the complaining person who longs just for comfort and sleep.  There is the whiner who thinks that things do not go his way.  Then there is the man who sees each hardship as an opportunity to show his quality.  Help me to be joyful when things are hard and to see you.  Reveal yourself in me so that I may rejoice at your work.

Questions

  1. How is verse 6 related to verse 7?
  2. What is more precious than gold?
  3. What shows people who they truly are?
  4. Do you complain and whine?  What would your friends say?
  5. Do you respond to hardship as opportunity?
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About Plymothian

I teach at Moody Bible Institute in Chicago. My interests include education, biblical studies, and spiritual formation. I have been married to Kelli since 1998 and we have two children, Daryl and Amelia. For recreation I like to run, play soccer, play board games, read and travel.
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3 Responses to 1 Peter 6:7 Identity: Genuinely Faithful

  1. Christina Zezulak says:

    Faith is more precious than gold. Your response during testing shows who you truly are. It reminds me of the quote from Martin Luther King Jr., “The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.” I admit that I tend to complain and whine more with those who I am most comfortable with: such as my family, my roommate, my boyfriend, and even God. I think it is because I have this comfort level with them, that does not exist with people like your friends. Friends can walk away, family can’t (to an extent.) However, God has taught me throughout the years to respond to hardship as an opportunity. It still needs to be strengthened, but it is a continual process of learning and changing. I really appreciate God’s transforming power in my life and in the lives of others because I am constantly reminded of my inability without Him. Yet my prayer continues to be that I would be faithful to what He has given me, ideal and challenging, and become more like Him in each step.

  2. Bronwyn says:

    I think as Christians we can forget the wonder of sanctification. We become used to talking about the process with the appropriate biblical verbiage. Once in awhile perhaps we should step back and think of how an unbeliever would think about this information we view as “normal.” This contrast may lead us to praise God, which is what I would hope the learning of all Biblical content would lead to.

    I say this because it occurred to me, as I read the above blog entry, how different it is that we Christians praise God for what He’s doing inside of us. It wouldn’t make sense for an unbeliever to give anyone the credit for their character or perseverance, but themselves.This is what most likely best corresponds with the worldview they operate in. It probably seems very bizarre and even impossible that a person can have the Lord of the universe working by His Spirit in them and still be humble. The importance of belief in man’s evil condition, as well as in faith-based salvation is seen here. In a culture where the idea of the “God” within is circulating, it is worthwhile to note Christianity’s striking differences. Though we do have “power within” that is greater than the “powers without,” and though we are joyously satisfied with this enlightening transaction (of our sins with His righteousness, and our death with His life…), we have become one with this God, not that we might be worshipped, but that we might worship Him! Even the trials in our life, all of them, no matter how much they vary in degree of suffering and in circumstances, all are for the praise and glory and honor of Jesus Christ. It is human nature, if elevated and blessed to be puffed up, but the curse has been reversed and effects of redemption are being seen, and a day is coming when that won’t be human nature.

    It is interesting to me that it won’t be until Jesus’ return that the praise and glory and honor in the triumph of our faith will go to Him… It’s like this life, since regeneration, is one long big test.

  3. Six and seven are related by the same pattern of thought. The various trials tested the genuineness of their faith, which is more precious than gold which is tested by fire. Even tested gold perishes but true faith will continue. Genuine faith is more precious then gold. Trials in our lives and how we handle them will show us who is saved and who is not saved. Even though I say that I know of Christians that have handled trials very wrongly, but then later on another trial comes and they handle it very well.

    I find that it is funny I am doing this blog post today because I have been thinking about if I complain and whine. I have come to the conclusion that I do whine and complain through explaining the details of my week or day to someone. I seem to be focus on how busy my week is or how much work i have to do. I hope to keep recognizing this and stop myself from going into complaining mode when talking about my day or week.

    My wife and I just found out or realized or had to spend all of our money, except for about $50 to pay this semesters last payment. Nicole hadn’t been able to work for about a month since getting laid off because her work was to demanding for being pregnant. With Nicole not being able to work and being forced to pay several days earlier then expected it almost completely wiped us out. But instead of complaining about it or whining or freaking out, God has given us a peace that He will provide for our needs. Even though we have money coming next payday, God has given us a heart and mind of contentment.

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