UV 2245/10000 The Testing
That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ
I Peter 1 v 7
Our faith is many times more valuable than gold or any other precious stone or metal. The reason is that by means of the latter one can attain certain ends on earth but it is only faith that enables us to live forever beyond physical life and death on earth. But faith needs to be tested through suffering for its genuineness and its qualities of purity, strength, endurance even as gold is tested in fire. Often, objects that look like pure gold have only an outer coating while inside it is some other inferior metal. Likewise, the Lord is not deceived by outer appearances but looks at the qualities of the heart of a person.
Faith is also valuable as it gives us access to the agape love of the Lord. It gives us access to His power and grace, His anointing, counsel, leading and wisdom. In times of crisis and suffering, we are tested to see if we hold onto our faith or whether we deny our faith or act in contradiction to what we believe in or in disobedience to the Word. We are tested to see if we are willing to pay the price of following Jesus. Our inner motives are tested- whether we think, speak or do a certain thing in order to please our own inner compulsions or to please and honour the Lord. If our faith emerges intact and stronger after a particular test, it will bring great pleasure, joy and honour to the Lord. Gold that is impure will evaporate or melt under intense heat of the fire of the furnace but pure gold will outlast the fire and emerge even purer and stronger. The pure molten gold can be beaten into any shape, size and for any use by the maker. Likewise, if our faith is pure and strong, the Lord can put our lives to use. We should therefore, not strive for the approval of men but to do the pleasing and perfect will of the Lord.
Our faith is the treasure that we can store in heaven, that neither moth nor rust nor fire can destroy. What we are at the end of our lives, after facing many struggles, problems, challenges, tests, trials, suffering, oppression, persecution is the end product of God’s assembly line. We have passed all the quality tests and are fit for the kingdom of God. We are cleansed, perfected, equipped from within to shine for the Lord, to bring glory to His name. Each test or trouble we endure and overcome should make us better and better, a little more like the best- Jesus. This is what pleases, satisfies, glorifies the Lord.
Prateep V Philip