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