“There is wonderful joy ahead, even though you have to endure many trials for a little while. These trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold—though your faith is far more precious than mere gold.” (I Peter 1:6-7, NLT).
As Christians we talk a lot about faith and we profess to have faith. But, in this passage the Apostle Peter says that until our faith is put to the test by the trials of life, it is not genuine faith!
When your faith is actualized by circumstances beyond your control, substantiated by events on which you did not plan, and authenticated by challenges that exceed your abilities to accomplish them, then you are are entering into the uncharted territory of your faith called genuine faith.
When life becomes a matter of life or death and faith is all you have, then what you have is genuine faith.
When you are at the place where all you can do is plead for God’s mercy and accept His will, that is the place where genuine faith begins.
When put to the test and you endure, your faith becomes authentic and real.
Why does faith work this way? To be a professional athlete requires a lot of practice, years of practice. To be a disciple of Jesus requires the practice and exercise of faith in Him. With practice and exercise, faith is refined and strengthened and it becomes genuine–the real thing.
But why do we want genuine faith if it is so difficult and agonizing to attain? We do it because Jesus suffered and died to redeem us.
Peter goes on to explain in the following verses: “You love him even though you have never seen him. Though you do not see him now, you trust him; and you rejoice with a glorious, inexpressible joy. The reward for trusting him will be the salvation of your souls” (vs. 8-9).