A Faith That Has Not Been Tested Cannot Be Trusted

This quote on faith sounds like something vaguely from the book of James:

“A faith that has not been tested cannot be trusted.”

It was written by the notable self-help and spiritual author John C. Maxwell. It’s during the trying times in life that our faith seems weak and sometimes absent, however, the Bible teaches that it is in God’s design to refine His people like gold is refined in the fire. Maxwell understands and teaches this concept in his writings, knowing that our faith is strengthened, and deepened, by the tests and trials of life. However painful, and contrary to our natural thinking, trials are actually good for us: at least from God’s perspective.

Similarly, the Apostle and brother of Jesus, James clearly understands this concept and takes it to a level way beyond our natural thinking.

My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing. – James 1:2-4 NKJV

We also find many other Bible verse and passages plus Christian books explaining this spiritual truth that to build a strong faith, it must be tested. If we think about it though, this should make natural sense. No athlete has ever built up his or her muscles and skills without experiencing the pain of training. And to the most successful athletes, there is joy in training and in pushing their bodies to the limit in competition – they joy in the pain knowing that it produces the desired results. And once the body is operating at that level the experience becomes euphoric (consider the runner’s high).

If we are truly committed to our faith in God, then we will and must be tested. And no, it won’t be fun in the short run. However, as we mature in our faith, and persevere through trials, we develop patience, and experience, and hope (Romans 5:1-4) . Which leads us to stronger faith. This is the way God has designed it, so as we face adversity and trial, as hard as it may seem to be, remember that God is refining us as silver and gold. And in the end, all things work together for our good and things happen for a reason.


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