“I was talking with one of my neighbors last night,” Stan began. “He was talking about a mistake he had made in taking a class on personal finance at the college over in Johnsonville.”
“He took a class by mistake?” I asked.
“No,” Stan replied. “He said he made a mistake in how he took it.”
“How was that?”
“He said he had the option of taking the class for credit, or for no credit. He opted to just sit in on the class without having to take any tests. No tests and no credits.”
“And he thinks that was a bad idea?”
“He does now.,” Stan replied. “At the time he thought it was a good idea because he didn’t want to take any tests. Turns out, he said, that he did not learn as much as he should have about managing his personal finances.”
“He now thinks he should have taken the tests. Studying for the tests probably would have helped him learn more and be better prepared to manage his finances.”
“In addition,” Stan continued, “my neighbor admitted that he had skipped some of the classes because he knew he wouldn’t be tested.”
“Later,” Stan said, “I was thinking about our conversation and realized that James wrote about the same thing in his letter that is near the end of the Bible.”
“He wrote about taking tests?” I asked.
“Sure did,” Stan replied. “Not exactly about taking tests, but surely about being tested. He wrote that being tested in my faith is one sure-fire way of developing greater faith. A ‘robust’ faith is how he put it.”
“If,” Stan continued, “I spend my time avoiding being tested in my faith, my faith is not going to grow. However, if I respond to the testings of my faith by getting myself out of the way and giving all of me to the Holy Spirit for His leading, my faith will and does grow stronger and deeper.”
“Tests can be hard and take a lot of effort, but all of that will be worth it if the end result is what God intends for me, which is greater faith.”
Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. James 1:2 – 4.
Prayer: Thank you, Father, that you test my faith so that it will grow stronger and deeper. I confess that too often I seek to avoid those tests with the inevitable result that my faith does not develop as you intend. Please forgive me. And please help me in following your lead in however you want for my faith in you to increase, to grow ever stronger and deeper. Thank you I can and do bring these prayers before you in the name of Jesus. Amen.
Things to think (and journal) about:
- What is your biggest take-away from this devotional?
2. What does what you read say about God and about us as His people?
3. What is God saying to you to do personally?
4. Who can you share this with to make a difference?
Comments, questions, suggestions, and the like can be addressed to The Storyteller at: firstname.lastname@example.org.