Tests Sharpen Testimonies

Tests Sharpen Testimonies

“Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. 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.”
James 1:2-4

We all go through tests. According to the Bible, faith tests are ultimately good for us. A test is to bring out the best in God’s economy. Tests grow our faith. Tests strengthen our character.

Billy Graham was quoted as saying, “When a ship’s carpenter needed timber to make a mast for a sailing vessel, he did not cut it in the valley, but up on the mountainside where the trees have been buffeted by the winds. These trees, he knew, were the strongest of all. Hardship is not our choice; but if we face it bravely, it can toughen the fiber of our souls.”

Here is something else to consider. Those trees on windy hills grow best in groups. James 1:2-4 is addressed to a group of people, “brothers and sisters.” We don’t go through tests alone.

I worked a logging project with Bill the rancher one time. He pointed out to me as we were selecting trees to be harvested that trees grow best in clusters, in groups. I had always thought that thinning out trees with equal spacing to let them have room to grow was the best approach. Not on windy ridges. Trees in groups support each other in a way that the winds and storms make them stronger together and as individual trees.

That is worth thinking about. That is worth talking about with a group of friends.


*What windy circumstances are you facing?
*Who might help you face the adverse weather?
*The best way to face the wind is face into it. Be encouraged.


  1. Thanks Steve, Martha and I have been going thru the storm for sometime, you word was and encouragement in midst of the storm.

    Ray Delawder

  2. Sure miss you guys and Sherwood. Not too many left here who we came to know. I pray things are well with you and your family and He has us all right where we need to be. Just can’t seem to get close to Citylight in the same way as Sherwood but I also keep trying.
    God Bless,
    Joyce Trafton

    1. Praying for you too, Joyce! I’m sure things are different now but it so fun to hear about the kingdom impact being made through the missional thrust of CityLight! It sounds like campus ministries at Iowa Western are doing really well. Blessings to you, and thanks for hanging in there!

  3. So true. I’m a “visual” learner. This gives me a beautiful vision to use when the wind is blowing around me.

  4. Message Sometimes we ask ourselves ” Is it all worth it?” I believe,
    someday, we will take a deep breath and say… YES
    Kn McKinney

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