Car manufacturers like to highlight how safe their vehicles are, and rightly so. Safety first! But it’s also ironic that the way they make their cars safer is by running them into concrete walls at various angles and speeds in an effort to put every joint, weld, and system of the car to the test. A vehicle that can’t pass the safety tests in a controlled environment can’t be trusted on the highway.
According to James, faith is kind of like that: “For you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing” (v. 3-4). It’s under the duress of testing and trials that our faith often proves to be genuine – or as one of my former pastors used to say, “Faith that can’t be tested can’t be trusted” (see 1 Peter 1:6-7).
So when – not if, but when – you find your faith being tested, may God grant you the wisdom (v. 5) to see and actually believe that he is shaping and strengthening your faith, both for your good and for his glory.