1 Peter 1:7
These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.
I’ve always been an all or nothing kind of guy. This tendency has no doubt served me in many ways but in some ways, it sets me up for defeat. For example, when I decide to get on a health kick, I go all out—radical changes to my diet, an hour of cardio a day, gym memberships complete with the latest in work-out apparel, etc. Unfortunately, going from couch potato to triathlete in a week is impossible and attempting such a regimen quickly left me burned out time and again.
So this January I took a new approach. I began implementing small changes into my lifestyle. Things such as starting the day with push-ups or cutting fried foods out of my diet. Small things that only took a little discipline. Not only was it easier to stick with, but when I started to gain small victories in my physical life I found it easier to incrementally build on them. No one has the discipline to go from zero to hero overnight, but if you take exercise the discipline you have to accomplish a small goal, it will grow and soon you’ll be amazed by what you’re capable of. Building discipline in this way is a lot like building faith.
Much like physical exercise strengthens our muscular system and provides us with greater confidence in our physical abilities, the testing and trying of our faith in Christ strengthens our spirits and leaves us with a greater confidence and trust in God’s providence over our lives. Faith that is untried and untested may be true faith, but it is certain to be little faith and will remain so without proper trials.
Throughout my Christian walk I’ve found that faith never prospers so well as when all things seem to be against us. It is when all options are removed that we have the opportunity to wholly trust God. Every believer trusts God to some degree, but it is when the flesh has no confidence in the things of this world that our spirit is free to make a truly powerful connection with the Lord. It is faith that makes this connection and it is faith that grows up in the face of adversity.
In Mark 11 Christ told us that we are to place our faith in God and then we could say to a mountain be removed and cast into the sea and it would obey us. What a powerful picture Jesus has painted for us here. The real power is not found in us, but in the object of our faith which is the Christ the Lord. Our faith in God releases the grace of God which delivers the results we are desparate for. Mountain moving faith depends on absolute confidence in the creator. This is the kind of trust that can only be built in trial fires throughout our Christian walk.
Unfortunately there are many incorrect concepts and doctrines being taught on the subject of faith. I’ve seen men take credit for acts of God based on their own faith. I have also seen people condemned because of their lack of faith. Jesus is our eternal example of redeemed humanity, indwelt by the Holy Spirit, and having faith in God. Faith simply builds our divine confidence in God and keeps us properly connected to Him.
Remember that the trying of your faith is working to your benefit and not your detriment. Stay focused on the big picture in your time of need and you will realize that your faith has grown, your need was met, and Jesus is Lord of all.
– Ps. Ken
Ken speaks weekly at Spirit Life Church. Visit the Spirit Life Church website to learn more about Ps. Ken and listen to his messages online.