“That the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ.”
That the genuineness of your faith
The New Testament uses the word “genuineness” in the context of purifying and strengthening metals by passing them through fire. The fire melts the ore and brings the dross to the surface, where it can be skimmed off. After the metal cools, it is much stronger.
If a gold mining company wishes to develop a new site, it sends someone to assay the metal to see whether the gold is genuine and of sufficient quantity to warrant investment in the mine. The assayer takes a sample of the gold to the laboratory and examines it. He then sends his report about the quality of the ore to the company. The report is more valuable than the gold sent with the report. On the basis of the report, the company will make a decision as to whether it will proceed with the project. In the same way, God wants a faith that can take the test. God is looking for people He can trust. If God finds our faith one He can approve, then He knows that we stand the tests of life. He wants to know the quality of our faith.
Something is genuine if it is without alloy. An alloy is a mixture of more than one metal. Lesser metals mixed with stronger metals weaken the stronger metals. God does not want the metal (character) of our lives mixed with lesser things.
The fiery tests of our faith bring greater strength to our spiritual lives. They remove the impurities in our lives. We may say that we trust God but we often mix that trust with dependence upon self. Our faith then needs purifying. We need tests to cleanse these impurities.
The purpose of trials is to test our faith.
Do you have a heavy heart? Every Christian faces disappointments and discouragement. Some people get the idea that a Christian should be immune from trouble. But trouble and trouble will come to all of us, in different shapes and sizes.
What does your faith prove? When God sends an ordeal into your life, how do you react? When God gives you a bitter pill, do you swallow it as God’s will? Many wounds make up our lives. It is not enough to simply endure them.
We increase our faith by the assimilation of God’s Word. (Romans 10:17) and by the application of what we know (Hebrews 4:1-3) The approval of our faith is more important than the approval of gold.