The Test of Faith

Updated: Oct 29

Dr. Stephen Phinney



Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. (James 1:2-3)


 

Seriously? How does one get joyful over an enemy who strikes you down at every turn? How about a loved-one suffering beyond human comprehension? And what is up with God testing our faith – daily? What kind of God do we serve anyway?


People generally are covert liars when walking in or after their flesh. They don't mean what they say, nor are they willing to back their stance on spoken statements when put under pressure. Worse yet, as soon as the firey trial shows up, they hide behind the skirt of fear – avoiding the cost of being steadfast.


I have been counseling folks for over forty years. I have to tell you - my experience has been that trials, hardships, and unfortunate circumstances DON'T produce steadfastness. Rather the more common ramifications I have noticed are betrayal, divorce, hatred, isolation, and a host of other actions – even murder. So, is God telling us the Truth? Are believers missing something in this formula? Yes, they certainly are.


While the lion's share of counselees I have had over the years default to revenge on others or themselves, a faithful few came out of their firey ordeals with a faith to be admired. I call them my faith heroes. There are not many of them, but those who have are my closest friends, whom I trust.


What is the problem with those who buckle under pressure?


Ironically people don't like being perfect and complete. While you would