One of the most important verses in all of scripture is found in Peter’s first epistle where the apostle speaks of the necessity of having our faith tested. “That the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ” (1 Peter 1:7, NKJV).
The Greek word used for trials here means “examining or testing with difficulties and adversities.” This passage suggests that God is saying, “Your faith is precious to me, more precious than all the wealth of this world that will one day perish. In these last days, when the enemy sends all manner of evil against you, I want you to be able to stand strong with an unshakable faith.”
Peter says, “Then the Lord knows how to deliver the godly out of temptations and to reserve the unjust under punishment for the day of judgment” (2 Peter 2:9). The Greek word here that is used for temptation means “putting to proof adversities.” Clearly, God does not want to keep us in our trials. Why would he be interested in keeping us in the midst of temptation and affliction? He doesn’t get any glory from testing his children but from the results of our testings!
There is only one way to escape our trials, and that is by passing the test. Think about it. When you were in school, how did you finally escape? You passed the final exam. If you didn’t pass, you were sent back to class.
That was the case with ancient Israel. When God brought them to the Red Sea, he was testing his people, trying them, proving them. He brought them to the very brink of destruction, surrounding them by mountains on two sides, a sea on another and an approaching enemy on the other.
Yet the Lord put Israel in that circumstance expecting a certain reaction. He wanted his people to acknowledge their helplessness. He wanted to hear them say, “We remember how God delivered us from the plagues. We remember how he brought us out of the furnace of affliction where we made bricks without straw and had no rest. God delivered us then, and he will do it again! Let us rejoice in his faithfulness. He is God, and he has given us promises he will keep. He will protect us from every enemy who comes against us.” Such faith is a sweet incense to God.