To determine what you have learned, testing or proof is required. In fact, the goal is to show your level of faith to yourself, not to God. Also, the more we know about our Supreme Father the smaller our faith has to be. Likewise, our great God requires small-mustard seed faith. So, do not worry, you can pass!
Updated: Tuesday, January 3, 2023
Testing: Your Faith Is Being Tested; You Can Pass!
STM Bible Lesson – Testing your faith
Lesson focus: James 1:2-8 (2-4). Bible lesson background: Bible Background Commentary – The specific trials he addresses in this letter are the poverty and oppression experienced by the poor (James 1:9-11, 5:1-6, and compare James 2:5-6).
My brothers and sisters [fellow believers], when you have many kinds of troubles [trials; testing], you should be full of joy [consider it all/pure joy], 3 because you know that these troubles test your faith**, and this will give you patience [perserverance; endurance]. 4 [And] Let your patience [perserverance; endurance] show itself perfectly in what you do [have its full effect; finish its work]. Then you will be perfect and complete [mature and whole; or completely mature] and will have everything you need [lack nothing]. James 1:2-4 (EXB)
- NOTE: verse 3 **test your faith, the KJV uses “trying of your faith.” The word, ‘trying’, comes from the Greek word δοκίμιον dokimion (dok-im’-ee-on) n. 1. a testing; 1) the proving; 2) that by which something is tried or proved, a test.
Your faith is being proved!
Is your faith being tested by something or someone? I ask because there are moments when it seems like there is no hope left and we want to give up. However, keep in mind that “the proving or trial of your faith” is necessary.
James says that the testing of your faith is a cause for celebration. Especially when you see the benefit of your diligence, patience, and endurance (James 1:2-3). So be glad when your faith is tested, it will teach you patience for hardship.
The New Life Version says “these tests prove your faith and help you not to give up.” Keep in mind, that there is a greater reward waiting for you, Jesus says in Matthew 24:13:
But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved. Matthew 24:13 (KJV)
So we should be inspired by this. His message was not only to the disciples that walked with him, it is for all of his followers.
Sorrows and trials come…
I know the thought of that is exciting, even if you must suffer through different kinds of troubles for a short time now. 7 These troubles test your faith and prove that it is pure. And such faith is worth more than gold. Gold can be proved to be pure by fire, but gold will ruin. When your faith is proven to be pure, the result will be praise and glory and honor when Jesus Christ comes.
8 You have not seen Christ, but still, you love him. You can’t see him now, but you believe in him. You are filled with a wonderful and heavenly joy that cannot be explained. 9 Your faith has a goal, and you are reaching that goal—your salvation. 1 Peter 1:6-9 (ERV)
Do not give in to temptation(s)
Those who stand firm during testing are blessed. They are tried and true. They will receive the life God has promised to those who love him as their reward. 13 No one who is tested should say, “God is tempting me!” This is because God is not tempted by any form of evil, nor does he tempt anyone. James 1:12-13 (CEB)
You Can Pass the test!
Just know that the Lord will keep you safe during the testing. And if you don’t give up, you can pass the test!
Since all this is true, then the Lord knows how to save godly people. He knows how to keep them safe in times of testing. The Lord also knows how to keep ungodly people under guard. He will do so until the day they will be judged and punished. 2 Peter 2:9 (NIRV)
- NOTE: While Peter spoke of God’s judgment, he also points out his rescue of Noah and Lot, whom he kept safe (2 Peter 2:4-11). He will do the same for you.
So many have endured testing of all sorts by faith and so can you!
Others were made fun of and beaten with whips, and some were chained in jail. 37 Still others were stoned to death or sawed in two or killed with swords. Some had nothing but sheep skins or goat skins to wear. They were poor, mistreated, and tortured. 38 The world did not deserve these good people, who had to wander in deserts, and on mountains and had to live in caves and holes in the ground.
39 All of them pleased God because of their faith! But still, they died without being given what had been promised. 40 This was because God had something better in store for us. And he did not want them to reach the goal of their faith without us. Hebrews 11:36-40 (CEV)
Be patient and go through
No matter how long the testing of your faith last, be patient, go through it and remember, you can pass the faith tests. The psalmist says in Psalms 66:10 and 19-20 “For you, O God, have put us to the test: testing us by fire like silver. 19 But truly God’s ear has been open; he has given attention to the voice of my prayer. 20 Praise be to God who has not taken away his good faith and his mercy from me.” (BBE)
James gives us three keys (from James 1:2-4} to encourage us:
- Be full of joy, i.e., think of the various tests you encounter as reasons to be happy. Because they help you grow and mature spiritually (from James 1:2).
- You’ll learn to be patient. In fact, many translations say testing produces endurance. It’s like saying you can make it or you will pass/last. Don’t give up (from James 1:3)!
- The result of your patience is, you become stronger, fully equipped, and mature (from James 1:4).
Sharing Christ’s sufferings
“My friends, don’t be surprised at the painful things that you are now suffering, which are testing your faith. Don’t think that something strange is happening to you. 13 But you should be happy that you are sharing in Christ’s sufferings. You will be happy and full of joy when Christ shows his glory.” 1 Peter 4:12-13 (ERV)
Hold on, patiently endure your faith tests. I pray that you have enjoyed and will make the most of this Bible lesson. Blessings to you and your loved ones—♥ Tim. ☺
Related studies/lessons/snacks for further spiritual growth:
See what is available on the Sound Truth Ministry website.
Scriptures to read and study
Note: parenthesis (#) encloses the key verse(s).
James 1:2-8 (2-4) and 12-18 (12-13). Matthew 24:3-14 [(13) compare Mark 3:3-13 (13); Luke 21:7-19 (19)]; Matthew 10:16-26 [(22) compare Mark 13:9-13 (13) and Luke 21:12-19 (19)]. 1 Peter 1:3-12 (6-9) and 4:12-19 (12-13); 2 Peter 2:4-11 (9); Hebrews 11:30-40 (36-40); and Psalms 66:8-12 and 16-20 (10-12 and 19-20).