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Testing Leads to Mature Faith Testing Leads to Mature Faith

Testing Leads to Mature Faith


Pastor David Gibson wrote in his book Destiny: “There is one, undivided God—‘the Lord our God is one’—and because God is like that, then he must be approached and worshiped by one undivided person: all your heart, all your soul, all your strength. In other words, all of you. Every single bit. God is not pulled in different directions. So neither should we be in our worship of him.”

To worship God with an undivided heart is a mark of spiritual maturity. The way that we grow to such maturity is by persevering or enduring through trials (vv. 2–4). The term trials indicates the difficulties or troubles of life that we should expect in this fallen world. Scripture doesn’t say “if” they happen, it’s “whenever” they happen. But trials are not merely “bad stuff that happens”—they can also be tests sent by God to refine us and burn away our impurities. The phrase “mature and complete, not lacking anything” indicates a spiritual wholeness or completeness. This purpose is the only reason we can consider the process to be “pure joy.”

Thankfully, we don’t have to persevere or endure on our own. If we lack wisdom about how to do so, we can ask God and He will answer (v. 5). Furthermore, He will do so “generously” and “without finding fault,” meaning that there’s no shame in asking.

The key to this prayer is expectant faith (vv. 6–8). Faith is not a magic key. The point is that prayers asking for God’s will to be done in our lives will always receive a “yes” answer. To think otherwise is to be “double-minded and unstable” or to have divided loyalties, a kind of hypocrisy. Responding to trials like “a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind” is immature (see Eph. 4:14) and misses the blessing of standing firm in faith (James 1:12).

Pray with Us

Please add the rest of Facilities Maintenance team to your prayer list: John Addison, Carl Bierga, and Matthew Morris. Our prayer is that the Lord would protect them as they sometimes have to climb high ladders and operate heavy equipment.

BY Brad Baurain

Dr. Bradley Baurain is Associate Professor and Program Head of TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) at Moody Bible Institute. Bradley has the unique privilege of holding a degree from four different universities (including Moody). He has just published his first book, On Waiting Well. Bradley taught in China, Vietnam, the United States, and Canada. Bradley and his wife, Julia, have four children and reside in Northwest Indiana.

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