The idea of testing of faith stems from the Book of James. James 1:2-4 records, “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”
God does allow our faith to be tested; however, the testing of faith does not have anything to do with losing your salvation.
What Does Testing Mean in the Bible?
God will test His children throughout their lives. This testing is not meant for you to fail. God wants all of His children to succeed and shine brightly for Him. God brings testing into our lives to produce perseverance (James 1:3). Through the testing in our lives, we will be able to grow into stronger Christians and be able to resist temptation more effectively. God is constantly urging us to grow in Christlikeness.
Testing is never pleasant as most testing is hard, difficult, and enduring. Just as a marathon runner has to train through painful long-distance runs, the Christian has to go through some difficult trials in order to grow in Christlikeness. God places us in trials in order for us to grow, deepen our relationship with Him, and strengthen our spiritual walk.
There were many people who were tested in the Bible to help build their faith and grow in godliness. In the Book of James, James gives us a special promise if we stand firm in the faith. James 1:12 reads, “Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.”
Thus, each believer will receive the crown of life for standing firm in the faith. It is worthwhile to mention that “the crown of life” is not the same thing as eternal life. Salvation is only given by faith in Jesus’ completed work on the cross.
For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith--and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God--not by works, so that no one can boast (Ephesians 2:8-9).
In eternity, all believers will receive different rewards based on their service to Christ. One of the rewards is “the crown of life.” The other crowns believers can receive is the imperishable crown, the crown of rejoicing, the crown of righteousness, and the crown of glory (1 Thessalonians 2:19; 2 Timothy 4:8; 1 Peter 5:4).
Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever (1 Corinthians 9:24-25).
What Is the Goal of Testing?
As previously mentioned, testing is never for nothing. There is always a purpose to the testing of faith. If you are experiencing testing today, rest assured that the testing will not endure forever. God is not picking on you or trying to belittle you through your testing.
God is growing and strengthening you through the testing because the testing will result in genuine growth, strength, and faith in Christ. When you go through testing and remain firm in your faith, it brings God joy. He delights to see His children stand firm in the faith.
Whenever we face trials, we need to see them as opportunities for growth. James even tells us to approach trials with great joy (James 1:2). Without trials in our lives, we would not be able to grow into spiritually mature Christians.
After we go through testing and emerge victorious, we will be able to help other believers who are going through similar trials. Trials will be different for each Christian. Trials can range from minor inconveniences to full-fledged attacks from the devil.
Job was a man who underwent severe testing in his life. Satan tested Job, but God was ultimately the One in control of the testing (Job 1:6-22). Job was tested through the emotional agony of his children dying, the disgrace from his “friends,” and the painful sores on his entire body.
Despite these tests and trials, Job never cursed God. Rather Job praised God and knew that God would bring him through these tests and trials (Job 13:15). At the end of the testing, Job did receive twice as much as he had before and had ample blessings given to him by God.
How to Have Faith in the Midst of Testing
Oftentimes, it’s hard to trust God in the middle of a test or trial, but understand that God is working all things out for your good (Romans 8:28). Through the testing of faith, God will strengthen your faith. It is often through the dark times of life when we lean more closely to God.
When things are happy, sunny, and great, we often fail to look at Jesus and remember all that He has done for us. Testing is not pleasant, but at the end of the testing, we will become stronger Christians. God does not want us to be weak in our faith — He wants us to be strong, firm, and steadfast.
And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast (1 Peter 5:10).
When you go through testing, remember God’s faithfulness in the past. Many tests can last for a long time, but the time we have here on earth is nothing compared to eternity with Christ.
God will bring tests in our lives, but they are not meant to discourage us. Tests are great opportunities to grow in our walk with Christ and strengthen our faith. God tests us in order for us to become stronger Christians. The testing of faith is not a test of whether or not you will go to Heaven.
Rather, the testing of faith is the tests you will go through in your life to help produce perseverance in your life. These tests can be long, short, emotional, spiritual, or physical. As Christians, we can go through testing and emerge victorious because we have the help of the Holy Spirit. He will help us to stand firm in the faith and succeed in the testing of our faith.
The testing of faith is all about trusting God and relying on Him rather than yourself. If you rely on Him in the midst of your testing, He will help you. Testing of faith is not something to be afraid of as God will give you all that you need to stand firm. When we stand firm in the storm of testing, we will develop perseverance, character, and hope.
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Vivian Bricker loves Jesus, studying the Word of God, and helping others in their walk with Christ. She has earned a Bachelor of Arts and Master's degree in Christian Ministry with a deep academic emphasis in theology. Her favorite things to do are spending time with her family and friends, reading, and spending time outside. When she is not writing, she is embarking on other adventures.