6Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations:  7That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:  8Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory:  I Peter 1:6-8

      This is the type of test we all expect to transpire in our lives.  As new believers, we undergo numerous internal testings of what it means to believe.  When I was a newbie I didn’t hardly have any answers as to “why” I believed in Christ.  I just knew He radically changed my life.  He lived in me and that was all I knew for sure.  I wanted to know the answers to all the spiritual dilemmas others posed to rattle my faith.  With time, lots of time, most of those dilemmas have been answered for me. 

      One of the main truths I learned in those early years was this; just because I do not know the answer, doesn’t mean the answer doesn’t exist… I simply have not been given that revelation yet.  Sometimes it pleases the Lord when we trust Him and believe Him, when we don’t know the answers to difficult questions. 

      Like I said, the answers to most of my faith questions have been answered in due season.  Of course, there are some issues I still do not fully comprehend.  I have seen enough people shipwreck their lives because they didn’t understand or became disappointed over what “God did or didn’t do” for them.  Seeing the aftermath of other people’s lives has proved to me that doubting the validity of God’s Word is utter foolishness.  The tests of faith are designed to drive us closer to the Lord and prove our devotion to Him.  The Father could have easily removed all the obstacles, hardships and difficulties in life.  He could have eliminated every possibility for disillusionment.  In addition, God could have posted road signs in every language assuring the way for “easy believism“, but  He didn’t!  I have to believe this is best.  I am stronger now in my faith in Christ than any other point. 

      Aside from the internal testings our faith undergoes  on a regular basis, “the faith” itself is under tremendous external pressure worldwide.  In a general sense, the faith is getting tested at every point, 24/7.  When I hear of the real-time stories of what other believers are enduring in other parts of the world, I am deeply humbled.  This external test of faith goes on everyday without exception.  It has been reported that more Christians were martyred in the last century than all the previous centuries combined.  Even as the world seeks to purge itself of Christianity, “the faith” marches forward, proving itself worthy of our Lord and Savior. 

      Just like there are armchair quarterbacks who stuff themselves with junk food and scream at their televisions about what “should” be done, those living the life of faith are surrounded by a great many spectators as well.  These spectators out number the participants many times over.  They are usually loud and obnoxious.  The internet is full of their ranting and raving.  The Lord allows these to flourish alongside true believers.  These weeds are allowed to grow for a season so that the Lord’s true plantings grow in competition.  They exist to make us stronger.  Yes, for season they may drown us out, but in due season all weeds get pulled.  Amen!  Remember, this is God’s business, not ours. 

      How strong has your faith grown since it was last tested?  Remember, the Lord is not trying to torment you, but to graduate you to the next level.  I am reminded of how a goldsmith knows when his gold is pure, 24 carrot pure.  He places it in a crucible and heats the gold.  The impurities rise to the top and he scrapes them off.  This process is repeated over and over again.  He knows he has pure gold, without impurities, when he sees his own reflection in the gold.   The Lord will continue to refine us, until He sees His own reflection in our lives.  I encourage you to allow all the trials and tests of this life to remove all the impurities and dross from your life.  You are worth it.