“My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.” (James 1:2-4, NKJV)
The word translated ‘testing of your faith’ occurs only here and in 1 Peter 1:7. The term, which means “tested” or “approved”, was used for coins that were genuine and not debased (Nelson Commentary). When real gold was used in coinage, biting a coin was a test for authenticity – real gold is relatively soft, and biting it (gently!) will leave a faint tooth mark. Harder metals used to make counterfeit coins will not show tooth marks. James notes the testing of our faith, like testing coins for authenticity, is essential for maturing Christians.
In the article ‘Ways You Must Test Your Faith’ by Rhodes Davis, several test are suggested. Let me share a brief summary:
- Test 1: Are you obedient to the faith? The first question is simple: are you obeying God? Are you living a changed life? Once you are a child of God, are you daily obeying God’s word? Does your life conform to the standard of teaching to which you committed yourself?
- Test 2: Are you living in faith? Every day we must live with complete trust in God, casting all of our cares into His hands or accept a weak existence where we do not trust God completely with our life.
- Test 3: Is your faith growing? Our new birth should result in continual growth, but if we do not tend to our spiritual life, it can stagnate. When it comes to faith, if you are not growing you are dying.
- Test 4: Is your faith evident to others? Your faith should not be the best kept secret in your life. It should be obvious to others that you are a disciple of Christ. We should be a good example in speech, conduct, love, faith, and purity so that our discipleship would be obvious to all.
- Test 5: Do you share your faith with others? If you know that the gospel is true and that your faith is transforming, you should not hesitate to share it with others. If you believe the gospel is the only way to salvation, it should urge you to teach others about Jesus.
Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. (2 Cor. 13:5)
~ Brother Roy