You and I can appreciate tests to prove genuineness. Take medications for instance. When we take medicine for a variety of ailments we want proof that the manufacturer has tested it. We like to know that it has endured and passed through accredited clinical trials that guarantee safety and effectiveness.
The object of God’s testing is specifically a believer’s faith. The faith that James refers to is belief in the power, word, and promises of God. In order to survive the storms of life, we must believe He is our solid ground when everything else is flying debris.
Tests of faith are vital so they are administered by God Himself. Do you recall the kinds of tests that you endured early in your spiritual walk? Looking back, they may seem trivial. Even silly. But they served as stepping stones along the path of spiritual growth. Over time, tougher tests prepare us for bigger battles. Greater victories achieved for God's glory.
Suffering is our training ground. The more difficult the battle, the sweeter the victory. Period. Those named and unnamed heroes of faith recorded in Scripture trusted God in the midst of unbelievable circumstances because their eyes focused on their future reward.
Hebrews 12:1-2 tells us: “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the Author and Perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”
Joyfully enduring trials is a focused discipline. Facing trials with a joyous attitude takes a conscious commitment to trust in Christ's leadership. In faith, we follow Him wholeheartedly as He equips us through the lessons learned in the valleys of pain and suffering.
God is intentional about you. We may not like the tests. In fact, we probably won't. But He tests us because He loves us and wants to draw us into deeper relationship with Him.
What kind of test is God currently administering in your life? What have you learned?