Photo by Sharon McCutcheon
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.1 Peter 1:7
Peter is talking about trials here. He is reminding us that our going through various trials has a purpose. That purpose is to test whether our faith is genuine or not. Just like gold is tested and refined through fire, God allows us to go through the fire of trials to prove the genuineness of our faith. Without trials, our faith doesn’t mean much.
Peter uses the analogy of refining gold by fire. In this process, fire is used to liquefy and then separate the impurities and other metals from the gold. During refining, the impurities form a layer on the surface of the liquefied gold which makes it easy to remove them. Similarly, this is what trials do to our faith.
Our faith is often mixed with impurities but when we are put under fire, it enables the impurities to come to the surface, and our faith is purified.
Whenever we go through trials a lot of things often come out. Things like fear, anger, doubt, unfaithfulness, impatience, and distrust will often show up before our faith can come to the surface. These are the impurities that God is looking to get rid of for our faith to be proven genuine.
How does God refine our faith?
When there is a delay. There is nothing that will purify our faith like waiting. Yet, something happens in the wait, all the things that make our faith impure comes to the surface. Our lack of patience comes to the surface. Our love for self comes out. Our love for convenience often reveals itself in the waiting. And when we choose to trust God and His timing all the impurities are washed away. Our faith becomes strengthened in the waiting as the psalmist reminds us. Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord. Psalm 27:14
When things don’t work out. We can be tempted to think because we are in God everything will work out. But what happens when we walk by faith and things don’t work out. Some things that make our faith impure will show up. Disappointment, despair, distrust often shows up. Here we are forced to decide whether we will give in to the disappointment and distrust that comes up. Or choose to walk by faith and believe that God is working out something better than what didn’t work out. Delay becomes the fire that purifies our faith. We are reminded in Romans 8:28, we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to His purpose for them.
Storms of life. Storms are a part of life. We‘ll experience different storms as we go through this life. Fear, doubt, and uncertainty often come to the surface when we experience storms in life. But our faith becomes like pure gold when we choose to trust God to get us through the storm. Jesus reminds us in the storm; do not let your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; also believe in me. John 14:1 peace in the storm comes when we choose to believe in God and in Jesus our giver of peace.
Our relationship with others. People will be our greatest purifier for our faith. Relationships have the unique ability to reveal what is hidden in us. God uses our relationships to bring to the surface all the things that don’t look like Him. In difficult relationships; anger, bitterness, resentment, unforgiveness, selfishness often comes to the surface. But when we choose to respond in love our faith becomes strengthened. The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love. Galatians 5:6b when we love people we are expressing our faith in God through them.
That’s why James 1: 2 reminds us to consider it pure joy when we go through various trials. We are only able to rejoice when we understand what God is after in trial. God is not testing us with trials; He is proving our faith in trials. He is looking to produce a faith that is worth more than gold which will bring praise and glory to Christ through us.
Sis, keep going through until your faith has more worth than gold!