We know that it is vital to keep faith in God when we’re presented with life’s storms and toughest moments. Yet, when discussing such challenges, most believers I know ask themselves the question, “Is my faith real? How can I know that my faith in Jesus is strong enough?” 1 Peter 1:6-7 presents two personal proofs that our faith is real and active:
“In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.”
Challenges To Our Faith
“Is my faith strong enough to survive if something really bad happened in my life?” I found myself asking these questions as another senseless tragedy took over the headlines. Innocent parents lose their children because of someone’s drastic behavior. A woman checking her phone while parked on the side of the road was killed by a distressed plane making an emergency landing. A hard-working couple lost their retirement funds at the hands of someone they thought they could trust. What if it happened to me?
God doesn’t “want” any of this to happen in our lives but He also knows we live in a world that is fraught with trouble. He, therefore, provides evidence ahead of time to give us confidence that our faith will survive any challenge we face.
Rejoicing In Faith Despite Hardship
The first evidence of our ability to keep faith in God is the ability to rejoice in the midst of difficulty. 1 Peter 1:6 states, “In all this (the new birth that brings a living hope – v. 3-5) you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials.” As we progress through the seasons of our life, we experience various difficulties. Each new challenge forces us to ask, “Can I rejoice in my salvation even though I am going through this trial?” Every time you find yourself rejoicing in the fact you have a relationship with Jesus in the face of physical, financial or emotional trauma, you can’t help but reach the conclusion that your faith is real.
Keeping Faith In God With Every Challenge
The second evidence that our faith is strong enough is the refinement process. 1 Peter 1:7 refers to “the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.” The picture here is of a goldsmith that takes the precious metal through the refining process. The goldsmith repeatedly heats the gold, stirs it up and then takes the dross off the surface. He keeps this process going until he can look into the gold and see his reflection.
In the same way, God heats up our lives, stirs them up and removes the dross until He can see His reflection in us. As a result, the difficulties in our lives make us stronger, wiser and more compassionate to others. Almost miraculously, the forces in our world that are designed to destroy us end up making us better. Setbacks that strengthen you provide irrefutable evidence that your faith is real.
Strengthening Your Faith Daily
So how can you work on strengthening your faith in both difficult and easy seasons of life? Start with these four steps that will help remind you to keep faith in God:
- Give thanks for your salvation daily.
- Own the fact that life is challenging.
- Look for evidence that your faith is real.
- Decide that your faith is extremely valuable.
In the past year, I watched one of my most trusted friends pass away at a rather young age, my dad had two lengthy stays in the hospital for serious medical issues and a couple of financial surprises significantly impacted our budget. I don’t know what the next twelve months will bring but I know I was able to rejoice in my faith and grow a little bit stronger. As a result, I have more confidence that my faith is real and ready for whatever comes next.
You might also be interested in: How to Find Faith Again: 4 Reminders For When You’ve Lost Hope