James 1:2-3 - Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, 3 knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. NASU
There are many different ways for our faith to be tested and I will not even try to give a list. What I want you to do is identify the type of tests you have encountered or are encountering now and ask yourself this question:
Did my faith help me to "stay calm or remain cheerful" while I was being tested?
James is saying we are to "stay calm or be cheerful" while this test or trial is taking place.
I was going through the test in my mind after it was over and wondered, "How could I even call myself a Christian? I totally bombed this test. This is horrible."
I needed to take a "Mulligan" on this one. If you are a golfer you know what a "Mulligan" is. If you are not a golfer it simply means you get a do over without being penalized. The Lord knows I needed a "Mulligan" on this one.
I couldn't live with this failure. I needed a chance to redeem myself. I needed another chance to build up my faith.
I needed to be retested and I had to "stay calm or be cheerful" while going through this next one.
I highly recommend this pathway. If you have flunked a faith test in the past that isn't the end of the story. Ask God for another chance. He wants you to grow in your faith and He will help you. Notice again what James says: "knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance."
The only way you are going to have a stronger faith is to continue to overcome the trials you face. We have to endure gladly while being tested.
I hope you ask God for a retest the next time you flunk the first one.
Think On These:
Gladness is in the heart, not the circumstances.
Gladness doesn't come from what you have, but from what you are.
Gary A. Serago
Minister of God's Word
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Gary A Serago.