– John R. Rice
Purifying Our Faith
Just as gold is refined by fire, our faith is refined by trials, as Peter writes, “In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith—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” (1 Pet. 1:6-7). When gold is refined, the fire burns away the impurities until only the purest of gold remains. So it is with our faith.
Establishing Our Faith
The author of Hebrews wrote that “… we are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of those who have faith and preserve their souls” (Heb. 10:39). Paul was sure that this faith was anchored in the work of Jesus Christ, as he wrote in Philippians 1:6, “And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.” God does not begin anything that He does not finish, and that includes the work He is doing in you.
Refining Our Faith
Did you know “… that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness” (James 1:3)? A faith that is tested creates more confidence; however, our confidence is not in ourselves but in God. We all look forward to hearing our Master’s words: “… well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master” (Matt. 25:21). Our faith is only as strong as the Object of our faith; of course, that is in Jesus Christ.
Sharing Our Faith
It is not easy to share our faith with the lost, is it? Even so, aren’t we commanded to share this hope that we have within us? Paul wrote to Philemon that he prayed “… that the sharing of your faith may become effective for the full knowledge of every good thing that is in us for the sake of Christ” (Philem. 1:6). Paul was always “testifying both to Jews and to Greeks of repentance toward God and of faith in our Lord Jesus Christ” (Acts 20:21), even though he didn’t know what was to become of him (Acts 20:22).
God never wants us to put a question mark in our tests of faith but a period. God never wastes any test of faith, but He is always interested in the final product, which forces us to trust Him in all things because a faith that’s never been tested can never be trusted.