Trial of Your Faith More Precious Than Gold
“That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ: Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory: Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls,” 1 Peter 1:6-9.
Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations:
What if you were placed in rough situations and given a guarantee never to fail if you only follow the instructions given. Wouldn’t it be easier to accept and face? This is a similar scenario to the Christian Soldier’s trial of faith situation. Jesus Christ experienced many trials and told his disciples they would experience similar fate.
A trial for a Christian soldier is to be in a situation or position where his faith in God is being tested or tried. This trial may sometimes be called an affliction. It can be a grievous experience, distressing or a painful situation.
For a Christian Soldier his faith is the trust and confidence in God and all His promises made by Jesus Christ and the Scriptures.
The Apostle Peter compared the trial of the Christian soldier’s faith to the purifying of gold by fire. He said the trial of our faith is more “precious” than gold because it was tried by fire. The trial or purifying of our faith by fire will “praise” “honour” and “glorify” God when Jesus Christ appeared, if we “endure” and “finished our course.”
Trial of Your Faith – Believer is by Fire
The “fire” of our purifying is need to remove all “doubts” from us until we come into the unity of the faith realising that God will do what He says. So we may face similar “fires” until they burn away all our doubts and fears. Then what is life is solid, purified faith in Jesus Christ.
This teaching of Peter is in keeping with the doctrine of the Scriptures. The Scriptures described God as “he is like a refiner’s fire,” Malachi 3:2-3. This Scripture also said he will purge the son of Levi with fire.
John the Baptist taught and preached Jesus will ” baptize” his Church with “the Holy Ghost and with fire,” Matthew 3:11 and Luke 3:16. Jesus Christ confirmed and reiterate this when he said he is “come to send fire on the earth”, Luke 12:49-53.
The “fire” that each Believer or Christian Soldier faces is the hard situation which challenge his faith in God. This include the uncomfortable experiences and painful circumstances and affliction that he faces daily.
We learned the Christian Soldier’s faith is “precious” because it was obtained by fire, 1 Peter 1 : 6 -9. “Obtained” by experiences which tested our faith in Jesus Christ.
But what exactly is this fire that the Scripture speaks of? We also realise from, Scriptures, each Christian Soldier’s life is a “fight” and a “course” that he should win and finish respectively. He also learns this fight is not natural but spiritual and the fight is a battle for the Believer’s faith.
The Scriptures tell us the “trying” of our faith result in patience. If patience is allowed to complete its “course” we will be “entire, wanting nothing”, complete and fulfilled in Jesus Christ, James 1:3 -4 . Therefore, it is by the trial of our faith that we build character. We may never pray and seek God if life was a “bed of rose.” But when our backs are up against the walls and we see no way out we fall on our faces before God in prayer and supplication, believing Him for a solution and he provides one EVERY TIME. This is how we have the victory, by faith. “…and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith,” 1 John 5:4.
The Fire of The Trial of Your Faith Reveals The Nature of Your Faith
Our faith is tried to realize its true nature and character. Fire will destroy most things by consuming it but if does not consume or burn it, that substance will be purified. That is why the “trying” of our faith requires patience. The fire of God is not consuming but purifying!
The Lord allows us to experience different “fires” to reveal to ourselves the nature of our faith and build our faith and character in the process, if we “endure” to the end. But by whatever means our faith is tested if we endure we are coming out of that trial “purer gold”. High temperature (fire) when it is applied to gold removes all impurities if the heat is applied long enough. The fire of affliction then is used to purify our faith in God by Jesus Christ.
We are assured victory in Jesus Christ by faith through the working of the cross which is remission of sins.
“But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ,” 1 Corinthians 15:57.
The “fire” with which the first century Church was “baptized” was very fatal. Many disciples of Christ lost their lives because of their faith. But they endured because even if death comes if we “endure” by faith we are not defeated.
It is by the successful trial of the Christian Soldier’s faith that Jesus Christ is glorified and his character is built. The Scriptures say, “that the trial of your faith, …., might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ,” 1 Peter 1:7. This is what the Devil wants. He wants the praise, honour and glory that is Christ’s and he gets it if we lose the fight of faith. So Christian Soldiers let us strive to win this fight , so the Lord Jesus Christ will be glorified in us. Therefore, “endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ,” 2 Timothy 2:3. Let us not confuse “hardness” with “hardship.” Hardness speaks to the sate of a person heart. For instance, your boss may deal with you with hardness of heart because you are born again. So because of the hardness or unbelieving state of a person’s heart he may treat a Christian Soldier unfairly. The Bible teaches “endure” do not give up but go through the hard treatment as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.
Overcome Trial of Your Faith – Glorifies the Lord Jesus Christ
Finally, the Apostle Peter’s second letter was directed to those Christian Soldiers, Believers, “that have obtained like precious faith,” 2 Peter 1:1. This means those Christians who have had similar experiences which have tested and tried their faith in God and who have endured. Their faith was tried by the fire of hardness directed at them.
The Lord Jesus is depending on us to overcome the trial of our faith by fire and by so doing give him glory , honour and praise. He is expecting us to say like Paul did near the end of his life, “I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing, ” 2 Timothy 4:7-9.
Christian Soldiers we will not love the appearing of Jesus Christ if we lost the fight of faith. If we lost the fight of then Christ would not be or Lord, where will our salvation be? So strive to endure by the Holy Ghost that the Lord has given us. Endure to the end, the trial of your faith, as good Christian soldiers of Jesus Christ.