A devotional by Reverend Dr. Kevin Schwamb
Having worked in the field of education for many years and across multiple grade levels, I can honestly say that no one likes to hear the words “We are going to have a test.” Yet, that is exactly what the book of James announces to persecuted believers in the opening verses of the letter. We read in James 1:2-3, “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.” If we are to be encouraged by these words we must understand three key terms: trials, testing, and perseverance. The word trials indicates a time of testing, temptation, or examination. The next word testing comes from the field of metallurgy and refers to the process of heating metals to filter out impurities. And finally, the word perseverance denotes the ability to endure or withstand.
God’s desire is to use difficult circumstances and people in your life to prove the genuineness of your faith in Him. Spiritual testing, when responded to correctly, will result in a stronger faith, a deeper joy, and a vibrant witness before others. Perhaps you have already experienced a few tests this week, with more to come. Rather than growing anxious or frantically wondering what’s wrong, remember that tests are not just inevitable they are invaluable to our spiritual growth in Christ. Let God use them to grow you spiritually by learning to trust Him more!