Tuesday, August 05, 2014

Trials-Faith Tested, Faith Proven

When I was young boy, one of my favorite books was The Red Badge of Courage.  This was a novel set in the Civil War about a teenager who went to war as a drummer.  He often wondered if he had real courage, courage enough not to run in the thick of the battle.  Sure enough he would find out.  In the heat of a fierce battle he sustained a head wound.  His head was bandaged, and the bandage was soon soaked with his blood. Wounded and hurting, he grabbed the flag from a fallen comrade and led the charge.  The red bloody bandage became the red badge of his courage for all to see.  A great story, one that still gives me a thrill to think about.

Faith untested is faith unproven.  So have you ever wondered about the proof of your faith?  Have you ever wondered what you would have to show the Lord to prove the reality of your faith when you stand before Him on that final day?  You can't hold faith, you can't touch and feel faith, you can't see faith itself, faith is not a physically tangible object.  So how do you know it is real?  Well, God in His goodness to us has provided us for a way to know our faith is real, to stand before him with something tangible in our hand, to have that definitive proof of the reality of our faith.  We see this in I Peter 1:6-7, "In this you greatly rejoice, even though for a little while, if necessary, you have been distressed by various trials, so that the proof of your faith, being more precious than gold which is perishable, even though tested by fire, may be found to result in praise and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ." 

Think about it!  Your enduring trials, your being faithful to God when under duress, your being wounded in some way as you remain godly in your circumstances, your paying a price because of your love for the Savior become the red badge of your faith. Just as the young boy in the story could look at that bloody bandage and rejoice because his courage had been proven, so we too can look at the trials that have proved our faith and rejoice in the knowledge that our faith has stood the test, and that we will stand before the Lord when He comes with tangible evidence of our faith in Him and love for Him.  Yes, we will quote the Psalm that God is good and does good, but have you ever considered the goodness of the Lord in using trials to give us not only the confidence that our faith is real and has substance to it; but also that He is good by giving us trials to hold in our hand, that prove our faith, on that great day when we appear before Him?

In Genesis 22:12 God has this to say to Abraham after He stopped Abraham from plunging the knife into the breast of the son, who was not only the son of promise, but the son in whom all the promises of God were to be fulfilled, "...for now I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your son, your only son, from Me."  Yes, Peter was correct, the proof of our faith is truly more precious than gold.  Gold perishes, but the proof of our faith does not, and we will always wear its red badge, not only before men, but more importantly, before God.

Lord, we want to close in thanking You for using trials in this way.  Thank You for the proof of our faith that trials give us, and for the confidence that our faith is real that trials give us.  May each one who is reading this post have that red badge of faith, so we will not shrink back from You at Your coming. Amen.



Dan Carlson said...

I believe the trials we go through and how we respond gives us the character for all eternity

Morris Brooks said...

Yes, as it is part of us being conformed to His image.

Christian Carlson said...

2 Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, 3 for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. 4 And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.

The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2001). (Jas 1:2–4). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.