Now that we are saved, why aren’t things awesome all the time? Why isn’t life one continuous ascent into the perfect life with God?
And why are we told that God is testing us?
As 1 Peter 1:6 says,
In this [salvation] you rejoice, even if now for a little while you have had to suffer various trials, so that the genuineness of your faith…may be found to result in praise and glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.
Why would God test faith like that?
Answering this question properly all depends on how we image these tests. It depends on whether we think of life as in a haunted house or a war zone.
Is God Scaring us or Leading Us?
Ready to Jump Out
Our youngest son loves to scare people when they enter the house. He will hide behind a doorway or some furniture, lying in wait. And then he pounces. Sometimes he scares us. Sometimes not. Sometimes we see him getting into place. Sometimes we don’t.
It’s in all good fun.
Except when we think of God acting like this?
Sometimes we image our Christian lives as if God is lying in wait, ready to spring out and test us. We think that God is actively testing us, laying out traps to see if we will fall away or lose our faith.
Sometimes we think God is testing us to see if we really, Really, REALLY believe. And if we fail the test then God is going to…well, who knows what will happen.
The Haunted House of Faith
Sometimes we can image our life of faith like a haunted house. God is actively trying to scare us, jumping out unexpectedly and tripping us up.
But—as the idea goes—if we can get through without freaking out too much then we will be saved. If we prove to God that we won’t doubt or run away then we will be saved.
But his image of God actively testing us is horrible—and inaccurate. This view of God lurking behind doors to test us distorts who really God is and how God is accomplishing salvation for us.
Ready to Rescue
Life is not an artificially created haunted house where we need to steel our nerves against any surprises.
Rather, life is better thought as a war zone.
We live in a war zone full of hazards and dangers. And it is filled roaming spiritual forces seeking to destroy us.
But God, in Jesus through the power of the Holy Spirit, has promised to rescue us from this war zone. Not only is this promised, but God IS rescuing us and saving us as the one who has come to us and is leading us to safety.
And the only way out of this war zone is to stay close to Jesus, to stay on the straight and narrow path that will leads to life.
The Loyalty in the War Zone
And the question is this, Will you give your trust, your allegiance, your loyalty to Jesus who is rescuing us, who leading us through this war zone?
Or will you, when trials and suffering and sorrows come, will you abandon him for something else? Will you put your trust and loyalty somewhere else when the attack comes?
In this war zone of life, the genuineness of our faith will be tested. But not because God is creating ways to scare us. But because this war zone is already scary enough, and we have continual opportunities to break loyalty with Jesus.
Jesus has the power to save and rescue us. And Jesus is willing to protect us. Jesus is leading us to life. Will we trust him? Will we place our faith in him?
The Testing of Faith
God is not testing our faith.
But our faith will be tested.
Our faith–allegiance in Jesus is the beginning of our rescue. And our faith–allegiance to Jesus will lead us safely home.
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