For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.
It’s a good thing to go to the gym, but if you don’t do anything while you’re there, it isn’t all that helpful. If you sit around on an exercise ball and use it as a pillow, that won’t help you much. If you want to get stronger, you need to actually work out. You need to do things like cardio and weights. As they say, no pain, no gain.
That can be true in our spiritual lives as well. We have to go through times of testing to be built up spiritually. Testing and trials are God’s gym in which we are broken down so we can be built up. To build muscle, you must break down muscle. The same is true of the spiritual life. To get stronger spiritually, we need to go through this process.
It is true of our faith as well. Faith is not given to us as a trophy to put into a display case. It is not given to us as something that we just stand back and admire. Faith is given to us to use, to put into action. And if we want our faith to get stronger, we will go through times of testing.
Hebrews 11:35–39 describes the kind of hardships that great men and women of faith from the Old Testament endured. These included torture, imprisonment, and stoning, to name a few. These heroes of the faith were world changers, and their faith grew stronger through experience.
Do you want to be a world changer? If you answered yes, if you say you want God to use you, then you’re in effect also saying, “Lord, send me trials.” Trials are a part of the Christian life. And if you want to be a world changer, you will be tested.