1 Peter 1:3-9
Faith is a central element in the Christian life because it is the means by which we enter into salvation. But that’s only the beginning. From then onward, our faith—or lack of it—shapes our lives and determines what happens to us when the winds of adversity blow. Some Christians learn to hold their footing even in hurricane-force gales, but others are toppled by the slightest gust. To understand why this is true, we need to examine the source of our faith.
Inherited faith. If you grew up in a Christian home, you probably adopted some of your parents’ beliefs. This kind of godly foundation is a wonderful gift from the Lord, but eventually, each person must assume responsibility for his or her own beliefs.
Textbook faith. The Bible is the ultimate guide for establishing our beliefs. But that’s not the only source of influence. Books, preachers, teachers, and friends all impact our convictions. Our theology may in fact be sound, but faith is only mental acceptance until it’s put to the test.
Proven faith. Only when we trust in the Lord through the fires of adversity will we have faith that can stand. Then it’s no longer based on what others have told us or what we’ve accepted as true but is built on our firsthand experience of His faithfulness.
To evaluate your faith, consider how you react to difficulties. Do you cling to the Lord or get angry at Him? Is your attitude one of thanksgiving because He’s making you more like His Son, or are you frustrated? No one can escape hardship, but those with proven faith will benefit from it.
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