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THE TESTING OF OUR FAITH By PS Ian Foley

1 Peter 1:6-7 ESV 

“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”. 

The previous verses reveal that we rejoice now in belonging to God’s family, because we have a living hope for this life and a rich inheritance in the life hereafter. And that this blessing is being guarded through faith by God’s power and will be fully revealed when our salvation is completed at the return of Jesus. Notice that our faith and God’s power are both needed to secure this end. This is why the genuineness of our faith is so precious.

However, in attaining this rich expectation, it may be necessary to be grieved by various trials. So the assurance that our faith is genuine is so important that it s worthwhile to test it through various trials.

We need to understand God’s value system to understand why He allows certain trials to come our way. Peter says that they are necessary. The trials we face are not arbitrary. However, I suspect that we usually don’t understand that they are necessary and this lack of understanding, in itself, may be part of testing the genuineness of our faith.

The more I have studied the Bible, the more apparent it is becoming to me that the necessity of the trials we face is because of the requirements of God’s plan. In certain seasons, we will need stronger faith to be able to stand firm against the stronger opposition that will come. This happens as God seeks both the salvation of as many people as possible and the destruction of the works of the devil. So the devil will fight all the more harder as his end approaches and because he knows his time is very short. So we should rejoice as our redemption draws near and at the same recognize the necessity of the trials that come. Victory is assured if we stand firm. So God works out our experiences to enable us to stand. So let us move from fear to faith, because God’s power is available through faith to enable us to gain victory.

It is significant that there are a growing number of prophetic words that point to significant changes occurring in the world about 2015. In recent times I have heard this from five different independent sources! Our own president, Ps Simon has spoken on a number of occasions of the seven Joseph years of preparation and opportunity. The seven years will end about 2015.

It is therefore both exciting and soberi

ng to read many secular sources increasingly writing about the crises coming on the world. As a personal testimony, I first became aware of these coming crises in 2006 when studying about the end times and was then amazed that the Bible identifies all the major kinds of crises about which the secular world is becoming increasingly aware. These include the suffering of Islamic peoples, resource depletion, economic decline, water and food security and climate change. You may wonder why I omit natural disasters and wars from this list; that is because they have been ongoing throughout the church age. The unique thing about the others is that they are emerging problems in our modern civilization which can only occur on a global scale once and the  book of Revelation writes of these global crises. The end times may be upon us sooner than we think.

This is the context which will cause our faith to be tested like never before.  It is also the context when I believe the rewards for faith will exceed any other time in human history. So now is the time, before big trouble comes, for us to prepare our hearts so that we are strong in God and cannot be shaken. Now is also the time not to be surprised by the trials that come upon us. Let us exercise trust in God about their necessity and let go of our frequent demand to know why. He probably cannot explain in a way we could understand until later.