Monday, January 12, 2015


We’re familiar with terms such as genuine and faux, real and imitation.  Our faith may be described by one of those terms, and God wants to make sure it’s the real thing, a genuine faith.

In 1 Peter 1:6-7 he writes, In this you greatly rejoice (vs. 1-5, our salvation, our heavenly inheritance, and our future resurrection), even though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been distressed by various trials, so that the proof of your faith, being more precious than gold which is perishable, even though tested by fire, may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.

Even when you go through troubling times, as a believer in Christ you have reasons to rejoice.  They include your salvation, your inheritance in Heaven reserved for you, your future resurrection with a new glorified physical body, God’s protection of you and your salvation, and His providence in causing you to be reborn spiritually into His family.  These are the things you can take joy in.  They’re real and lasting.  However as we rejoice in those things, we go through this life with difficulty and pain, trials and temptations.  Why?  They’re for the purpose of testing our faith and forming our character.  We will have them “for a little while.”  In other words, they are just moments compared to all eternity.  This life is a small segment of time.  Life in eternity is a great unending time.  That’s why it’s very naïve to live only for the present.

The words, “if necessary” refer to God’s purpose in your life.  The meaning is that in building your character and testing and proving your faith He doesn’t always use troubles and dark times.  But sometimes it’s necessary for God’s glory and our good.  And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose (Rom. 8:28).  Sometimes it’s in God’s will for us to suffer because we’re following Jesus and obeying Him.  Rom. 8:17 reads, Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.  And 1 Peter 3:17 says, For it is better, if it is God’s will, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil.

Through it all God is the Manager and the Monitor of what and how much is allowed into your life. David writes in Psa. 139:5, You have enclosed me behind and before, And laid Your hand upon me.  We’re reminded in 1 Cor. 10:13, No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.  The word for “temptation” also means “testing.”  It doesn’t just mean temptation to sin, but also includes the testing of your faith through trouble.

God has you surrounded.  What comes into your life is only what He allows.  He is control of it.  What’s our responsibility?  We must trust His wisdom and love.  We don’t have to understand all that God does and all that He allows, but we can trust Him that it will end in good.

If you trust His love and wisdom in the suffering, then you can trust His faithfulness and promise that it will produce good for you.  And the genuineness of your faith will be proved.

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