Friday, October 30, 2020

How Has Your Faith Been Tested This Year?


By: Sarah Geringer 

So be truly glad. There is wonderful joy ahead, even though you must endure many trials for a little while. These trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold—though your faith is far more precious than mere gold. So when your faith remains strong through many trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world.

1 Peter 1:6-7 NLT

How has your faith been tested this year? Notice I didn't ask, Has your faith been tested? In a year full of trials and tribulations, all of us have been tested in our faith.

Before you answer that question, I'd like you to reflect on another time when your faith was tested, and how God pulled you through. Here's my story.

I remember 2008 as another year of testing. My husband is a builder, and he was just starting his company at the time. The market was glutted with homes to sell, and buyers were scarce. We could not get credit to build more than one spec house at a time, though our credit was in the near-perfect range. Gas prices soared to around $4.25 per gallon for diesel, and we were spending over $1,000 per month just for him to drive around.

I had given birth to our third child that summer. Three children in diapers and/or potty training. I cut out dozens of coupons each week to use for groceries. I had faced legal action over a job contract, but I lost big time. So I felt stuck in a job that was utterly dissatisfying, yet the bright side was that it allowed me to stay at home with my kids.

In the 2008 recession, as well as in a contentious election season that fall, my faith was being stretched to new limits. Did I really trust God to be my Provider? Did I really believe that he was in total control of all things, including the future of our country? Over and over that year, I meditated on the Sermon of the Mount, particularly the part that said "do not worry." Through those trials, I learned to trust God in new ways. 

And as always, God pulled us through that season of trials. My husband was one of the few new builders in our area that survived and even thrived after the recession. I fulfilled my job contract and moved on to greener pastures. I now treasure my memories of my three little ones as the bright spots of joy in that difficult season.

2020 has given us new opportunities to trust God. But it's not over yet. One of the most challenging tests of trust comes next week with the U.S. election, which will have an impact across the globe. We Christians must choose to trust God even when our faith is being stretched to its limits. It's time for us to really, truly believe what we've been taught all these years in sermon after sermon, Bible reading after Bible reading.

I love this passage in 1 Peter that tells us the value of being tested. Yes, these are real trials we are facing, just like the real trials I faced in 2008. The Bible never promises that our lives will be free from trials. But it says that our trials will only last a little while, in light of all eternity. They are for our good, proving that our faith is genuine.

Your faith is precious to God. If your faith remains strong through the many trials of 2020 (and more ahead, to be sure), you will receive blessings in heaven someday for persevering through this season. Isn't that amazing to consider? Doesn't that give you hope?

I'm sure we have many more joys ahead. Joys that we need to seek, not take for granted. Our hope is not only waiting for us in heaven. It's here for us on earth too, as long as we are walking beside God in our trials.

I pray that as you meditate on these verses of 1 Peter, you will reflect on times God pulled you through past seasons. I pray that your faith will be strengthened through the tests of 2020, and purified in the fire of God's glory.

Want to pray for our nation in the days leading up to the election? Visit the Recent Posts box at my site, where you'll see several non-partisan prayers I've written for America, like this one.

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Have a wonderful weekend!

Blessings and God's peace to you,

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