God's word in today's world

Test of faith


The factory where I worked manufactured polymer products. To put it simply, resin, silica sand and calcium carbonate are mixed to form an exceptionally hard product. Every week, we sent a small block to Stellenbosch University to test the compressive strength.

Extreme pressure is put on the block and when the block breaks into a thousand pieces, these pieces are measured. If it didn’t meet our standards, the formula was adjusted until we achieved the correct compressive strength.

The way in which we deal with pressure is also a test. In times of pressure, we revert to our default and behave the way we were programmed. Then we don’t think about what we should do or say. Then we don’t hold back and say it like it is.

My daughter went hiking with friends. They climbed waterfalls. The unspoiled natural beauty of creation around them left them speechless.

When they got back to the car, I got a call and a small voice said: “Dad, I’ve lost the car keys …”

What! You see, my first thought was how we would get the spare key there, 700 kilometers away. How could we get the car open to have it towed back? Where would we find a locksmith? Who would tow the car home?

This was a crisis affecting my response. What I would say in this situation would be a sign of who I was. I always say people don’t realise that the words that come from their mouths show a picture of their hearts.

A crisis in life tests how strong our faith is. It paints a picture of our hearts. Challenges in our way study the picture and ask if we pass the test. Is your faith strong enough? When we let loose, can faith be seen that keeps believing through thick and thin, no matter how huge the waves and storm winds of life?

It’s as simple as this: 12Anyone who meets a testing challenge head-on and manages to stick it out is mighty fortunate. For such persons loyally in love with God, the reward is life and more life.

Often, we don’t want to hear this. Often when things are hard, we ask where God is, and when we hear He uses it, we sulk and stamp our feet.

But listen here. The verse doesn’t say that God is the source of the hardship you’re going through. He is using it. When you’re in trouble, He looks at the picture of your heart. There where you don’t hold back.

Make sure that your faith is deeply cemented in God, so that it will remain upright in life’s storm waves and winds. We need a lot of wisdom for this. Let’s ask it in prayer from the One in who our faith is grounded.

Scripture
James 1:12

Reflection
What does your heart’s picture look like in hard times?
How strong is your faith?
Where do you need to leave more in God’s hands?

Prayer
Father, I’m not good under pressure. The picture I show doesn’t always look very good. I suspect it’s because my faith is not grounded strongly enough in You. Help me to strengthen my faith in You so that it can withstand the winds and storms of life. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.

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