Thursday, November 22, 2012

The Test of Your Faith

One Year Bible
NewTestament passage for Thurs., Nov. 22, 2012: I Peter 1:1-12

In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ,whom having not seen you love. Though now you do not see Him, yet believing, you rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory.  I Peter 1:6-8 (NKJV)

God has an incredible future in store for those who are His. All of history and all of life points toward ultimate good for those who are the objects of divine grace (Rom. 8:28). He has laid up an inheritance for us that cannot decay or diminish. If we understand this, it can be a source of great strength and encouragement to us. It can be the ground for great joy. 

We need to know our inheritance -- that which Christ has purchased for us!  We need to know because the testing can be severe. In this world, our faith will be tested like gold refined in the fire. This is the normal condition of those destined for glory. 

Here's the way it works.  First, God makes incredible provision for us. He has done this without our help. He did it in Jesus. Then, He tells us about it. We accept it strictly on the basis of God's truthfulness. There may be no evidence whatsoever of the great things He has promised. Lastly, circumstances appear that seem to actually contradict that which God has promised. This tests us like fire. In the midst of this trial, we learn to rejoice purely in God's nature and His promise. 

The result of all this is GLORY and GROWTH -- glory to God and growth in us. This kind of faith does more than just get us started. It carries us to the end. We receive the fullness of our salvation. Rather than the bare minimum, we receive the full benefit. That's worth getting happy about. 

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