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How Does the Testing Of Our Faith Produce Endurance? 

 

Trials and testing are a part of life. Clinical trials determine the safety and effectiveness of medications. Math tests help teachers and students know what areas they need to review. Jewelers use tests to determine the purity of gold and whether a stone is a diamond or cubic zirconia.

 

Similarly, God uses trials and difficult times to test our faith and develop spiritual maturity. As we go through times of trial and testing, we develop patient endurance and become steadfast in our belief in God.

 

James 1:2-3 boldly states that believers should, “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.” This is quite a remarkable admonition.

 

Valuing times of trials and testing with joy isn’t easy. We are more likely to fixate on our pain and disappointment. This scripture encourages us to shift our focus from our discomfort and suffering to the benefits of perseverance.

 

Trials in this passage come from the Greek word “peirasmos,” which means an experiment, attempt, trial, and proving. The NAS New Testament Greek Lexicon explains that times of testing can be a “the trial of man’s fidelity, integrity, virtue, constancy.”

 

Trials can also include “an enticement to sin, temptation, whether arising from the desires or from the outward circumstances.”

 

A trial can also be a time of adversity and affliction that tests or proves one’s character, faith, and holiness. James 1:3 includes the Greek word “dokimion” often translated “testing” and is related to proving genuineness and goodness.

 

 

Why Do Christians Face Trials and Temptations?

Challenging times reveal our character and what is inside our hearts. Just as being a student means taking tests, being a Christian means facing trials and temptations. Often, we think of temptations as moral challenges and trials as physical problems. However, in the Bible, both are used to prove faith and obedience.

 

1 Peter 1:6 encourages believers to rejoice even when for “a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials.” Our perspective on a “little while” often differs from God’s eternal timeline.

 

Just as pharmaceutical trials take years before a new medicine is approved and a jury trial takes weeks, times of spiritual trial and testing also have a beginning and an end, whether for 40 days or 40 years.

 

Reading the Bible provides a long-term perspective on God’s timing and purpose during trying times. For instance, Jesus was tested by Satan after 40 days in the wilderness in Matthew 4:1-11.

 

Jesus was tested by the Pharisees on multiple occasions (John 8:2-11; Matthew 22:15-22).

Abraham was tested at Mt. Moriah (Genesis 22).

Joseph was tempted by Potiphar’s wife (Genesis 39:6-20).

Since trials and temptations are a part of the Christian journey, it is natural to wonder, “Where do tests and trials come from?”

 

Does God Tempt People?

God doesn’t tempt people, but he allows people to be tempted because trials and temptations reveal what is in our hearts and draw us closer to Christ.

 

James 1:13-14 answers the question, “Does God tempt people?” It states, “When tempted, no one should say, ‘God is tempting me.’ For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; but each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed.”

 

 

In Job 1, God gave permission for Satan to test Job’s character. In Luke 22:31, Jesus tells Simon Peter that Satan demanded to sift him like wheat.

 

Satan also tempted Jesus three different times in Matthew 4:1-11. Temptations do not always lead to sin. Though Jesus was tempted in every way (Hebrews 4:15), he never sinned because in him there was no sin (1 John 3:5).

 

Times of trial prove our faith and test our integrity. When the Pharisees tested Jesus with a question about paying taxes, they started by commenting on Jesus’s integrity.

 

“Teacher,” they said, “we know that you are a man of integrity and that you teach the way of God in accordance with the truth” (Matthew 22:16).

 

Not all people in the Bible passed the tests during times of temptation:

 

Adam and Eve gave into temptation in the Garden of Eden in Genesis 3.

The Israelites did not pass the tests in the wilderness at Massah and Meribah in Exodus 17:7.

Simon Peter denied Christ three times in Luke 22:54-62.

People are tempted by their own desires and inclination to sin. Just as Satan tempted Jesus with a desire for food and earthly glory after fasting for 40 days, we are often tempted in places of weakness.

 

Unfortunately, satisfying our pride, unrighteousness, and selfish desires can lead to foolish choices. Trials reveal places of spiritual disconnect in our lives just as a calculus test reveals gaps in our understanding of derivatives — likewise, times of testing and temptation show holes in our faith and knowledge of God’s character.

 

 

As Deuteronomy 8:2 explains, “Remember how the LORD your God led you through the wilderness for these forty years, humbling you and testing you to prove your character, and to find out whether or not you would obey his commands” (NLT).

 

God allows us to go through times of trial to test our faith and prove our character. Based on his personal experience being tested, the Apostle Peter linked trials to integrity and genuineness of faith.

 

1 Peter 1:7 explains that the various trials believers go through test the genuineness of their faith, which is “more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire — may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.

 

Tests pinpoint how much we know and what we still need to learn. Even when we don’t pass the test, there are still benefits. Times of tribulation and testing keep us from succumbing to pride and help us give grace to others in their struggles.

 

Going through trials and temptation expands our ability to minister to others in places of affliction and helps us become more like Christ (2 Corinthians 1:3-6).

 

How Can We Have Joy When We Face Trials of Many Kinds?

Trials and temptations prove our faith and result in blessing. James 1:12 says, “Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.”

 

The crown of life mentioned in this passage is not a kingly crown but the laurels given to a victor after a battle. The victor receiving the crown was recognized and publicly honored.

 

 

After we have come through times of trial and temptation, we will be more like Christ. 2 Corinthians 1:6 explains, “For as we share abundantly in Christ’s sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too.”

 

Like the immense joy that comes after finishing a marathon, by sharing Christ’s sufferings, you will also see his glory.

 

As 1 Peter 4:12-13 states, “Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice insofar as you share Christ’s sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed.”

 

What Does the Bible Say about Trials and Perseverance?

Times of testing will produce steadfastness, perseverance, and endurance in us (James 1:3). We will be able to have endurance during hard times like Jesus, “who for the joy that was set before him, endured the cross” (Hebrews 12:2).

 

Steadfastness is also a character trait of Jesus (2 Thessalonians 3:5; Revelation 1:9). Perseverance will result in our being complete and mature (James 1:4).

 

We will be able to experience the fruit of the Holy Spirit in our lives, including peace, joy, and patience. Romans 5:3-4 explains that tribulation will lead to patience in the lives of believers. Patience is a fruit of the Holy Spirit and a character trait of God (2 Peter 3:9).

 

We are to rejoice in our suffering because it produces endurance; endurance develops character, and character leads to hope.

 

And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us (Romans 5:4-5).

Courtesy; Penny Noyes

Matthias David
Matthias David
Working in His vine, as He does even more at mine.
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