When You're Being Tested

I struggle in my faith. 

I've been a Christian for a long time, for as long as I can remember. But there are days when I feel like a complete failure as a Christian. I'm always messing up or sinning or regretting. I feel like I'm always coming to God and asking for forgiveness. Maybe you find yourself in the same scenario. 

I found such great encouragement in the Bible, in the book of James specifically. This passage was written as an encouragement to believers like you and me.

"When troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy." - James 1:2

That's a little backwards, right? Find joy? In this? A trial? 

But the whole point is that our lives should not be in pursuit of happiness. That's not necessarily what God solely wants for us. Yes, He wants us to be happy, but what He really wants is for us to be holy, to be more like Jesus. And how do we do that? By patiently enduring our trials, our struggles, our mistakes. When we do, that's just purifying us. 

"For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing." - James 1:3-4

The word "testing" is the same word used by silversmiths for the process of refining silver. They would heat up the silver to bring the imperfections (called "dross") to the top and scrape them off. The more they did that, the more pure the silver would become. They knew the silver was finished being tested and completely pure when they could see their reflection in it.

Isn't that a beautiful picture of God? When we endure trials, when we endure our faith's test, we become a reflection of God. 


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