My youngest son doesn’t like to take medicine, and if getting better means he has to take medicine, he is okay with staying sick. I remind him it’s necessary if he wants to get better. There are times when he asks if there are other ways to get the same results and I say, “Son, this is what you have to do to get well.”
Many of us desire to be healthier in our faith and some even wished it were possible to live with a conviction of faith that mirrors our biblical heroes. In order for that to happen we must be willing to let our faith go through the process of being tested to get better.
The Greek word for tested is, dŏkimiŏn, dok-im´-ee-on, genuine, the idea is not being fake or counterfeit.
The writer is conveying the thought that our Christian journey consists of more than what we say we believe as Christians to include a journey that proves it is as genuine as it professes to be.
So this is a faith that must be tested, then the next question is, how do we know if we have passed the test or not? Endurance!
Remember: The result that we are striving for is, “endurance.”
The Greek word for endurance is, hupŏmŏnē, hoop-om-on-ay, which conveys the thought: the power to withstand hardship or stress; especially the inward fortitude necessary.
So we prove ourselves by facing difficulty or stress. What is this endurance, how many of us have given up because we lack this one character trait? Given up on our marriage, even if you are still there, given up on the friendship, but most importantly given up on the things of God, because we lack the ability to be steadfast? But guess what, we have our college degrees, our social clubs, and all the toys we always wanted. So what, if we can’t endure the pressure or stress of life that only make us better Christians.
It was once said, “Praise can follow only after your ability to endure has been tested and succeeded.” How often have we been impressed and praised fellow believers, or ourselves, for societal accomplishments but when it came to what matters most, the proving of our faith, we have such a cavalier attitude regarding the matter?
‘Leave my character alone; be impressed with the other things I have accomplished.’ We may not say this out loud, but this is what we are saying out loud.
Remember: The next time we want to know if a person is qualified, how about we look at their ability to endure the test?
Consider this thought:
Do we hide behind our accomplishments because we don’t want our faith to be tested, knowing if our faith were to be tested others might discover we are not as grown up as we come off?
Lord, grant us the courage to take the test and be determined to endure, Amen.