Welcome to welling for your spiritual well-being and your ministry overflowing. Have you ever heard the announcement, this is a test.
Just like those announcements or tests, we face announcements of tests in our lives. Those announcements are messages, which truly get our attention. They have a large geographic footprint. They interrupt life. Trials interrupt our life. They get our attention, and everybody faces trials. The geographic footprint is universal. It is like the book of Job, where it says man born of woman is full of trouble, full of trouble, like sparks fly upward.
These messages will have full text display, whether it’s on screens or on audio. And tests, they get our attention. Trials are the test announcements for our faith. They’re not just for information in a theoretical, academic, intellectual way. It is a call to take action. In the crawling display of tests and trials in our lives, they make us pay attention.
The broadcast announcements are used in civil defense categories, but the National Weather Service has integrated their announcements so that if there’s emergency management needed, all can hear and take action.
So that is the function of tests in our life, not only in broadcasting, but the announcement of tests, the test of our very faith, the quality of our faith. A couple of times ago, I said that the imagery that James uses has to do with fire, the refining, the purification, the clarification of our faith. That’s why he says, consider it all joy.
My brothers and sisters, consider them joy whenever you face trials of many a kind because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work. The testing, the trials on an announcement of the tests of our life, the very testing of the quality of our faith and the quality of our joy. When they arrive, they truly get our attention.
We talked about joy counter and joy counteracter. We’ll talk in a moment, in the next couple of episodes, on how we can optimize trials and maximize the benefits of the trials. These are trials that we don’t deserve. Most often, they’re just because we live in a world that is filled with uncertainty.
In polycrises, as we said last time, filled with volatility. And we don’t go looking after them, pursuing them. We don’t avoid them because they cannot be avoided, evaded, or shunned. We don’t try to minimize them and diminish them.
But we face them. We meet them. We greet them. We welcome them for a short time, hoping to address their faith question, once the faith test has been passed with patience and character and perseverance and joy. That test goes away till a new test comes by us.
Now, this is a test of our personal faith. It is a practical test of knowledge being applied, not a theoretical, academic exercise. It calls viscerally for our response. That’s what endurance is. That’s what it provokes. Endurance, as you know, is the ability to withstand the stress, withstand the test.
They use this in athletics endurance tests almost every athlete endures. Recently, we had the lowest age, highest ranking of any tennis athlete in the world, a 19-year-old Spaniard. And I believe he was on the court over the course of the tennis tournament for over 23 hours. Played emotionally demanding games and survived and became a 19-year-old champion.
We find stress tests also used in technology when they do software testing to see if the software can withstand the demands of the user. But the most common way of understanding stress tests is in medicine and physiology, isn’t it, where they put us through tests, treadmill tests. Some of you have gone through those. And they test the quality of your heart. Is your heart able to bear the stress, the activity, the exercise? Is the blood flow all right?
How does your heart work during the physical activity demanded? Is your heart pumping harder or is it getting weaker? They will test your heart to reveal problems with you your heart. That’s the same kind of test applied to your faith.
Tests reveal the problem of your faith. How does your faith work? Can it handle the tests? Some time ago, I gave a question to a seminary class. And I said, you have 30 minutes for each question.
And a student whimsically said, and sir, how many minutes do we have for each answer? Our tests are lifelong. We are allowed a whole life of tests. And we will face those tests with endurance, with confidence, with perseverance to show that the quality of your faith allowed the quality of your endurance, of your assurance, of confidence till the very end.
Tests, they test by announcement. And when you experience those tests, you meet them with endurance. It’ll show the functional fitness, the functional capacity, the functional quality of your patience, of my perseverance till the end.