“…[Your faith]… is infinitely more precious than the perishable gold which is tested and purified by fire.” (1 Pet. 1:7b, AMP).
Men have been willing to commit murder to obtain it. Pirates spend their lives hunting for it. Wars have been fought over it. A newly engaged fiancé fawns over it. Throughout history, gold has held a powerful draw on the hearts of humans.
This brings to mind the frequent email advertisements I received during our country’s recession. Each one suggested that I invest in gold. After all, even if everything were to fall apart, gold would never lose its value.
This is what the advertisers were banking on: gold is inherently valuable.
Listen to what God says about your faith. It is infinitely more precious than this substance that so many have spent their lives seeking after.
Faith has immeasurably more inherent value than gold. When it feels like everything is falling apart, your God-given faith provides a strength that nothing can take away.
I used to think that this verse was simply a reflection of God’s admiration of faith that has been tested and come through the fire in exceeding purity. However, one day He whispered to me that there is more here. Even aside from God’s legitimate appreciation for it, purified, strengthened faith has immense intrinsic worth.
In meditating on this truth, I’m reminded of watching my son work his way through a game on his tablet. The further into the game he advances, the higher the levels to which he ascends, the more he is able to “unlock” in his quest for greater conquest. This is analogous to how faith works. Each time we faithfully endure a period of testing, we graduate to the next level. Our faith is that much more robust; that much more genuine; that much stronger; that much purer. As a result, new dimensions of heavenly goodness become available to us.
Faith opens up for us the windows of heaven. Faith activates for us all the costly, lavish benefits that Jesus purchased for us with His death and resurrection. Faith is the life line that accesses grace and peace and joy and everything that belongs to us in the heavenly places. Faith allows us to tap into all that is ours.
“For all things are yours, whether… the world or life or death or the present or the future—all are yours…” (1 Cor. 3:21-22, ESV). The father in the parable of the prodigal told his oldest son, “All that I have is yours.” God has already made everything that He has… ours.
However, we need to grow into it. We actually need our faith purified and strengthened. We need to walk out the strength training that makes us mighty in spirit – this is precisely what enables us to unlock and walk in greater and greater levels of this inheritance that belongs to us.
Truly, faith emerging triumphantly from the fire of testing is infinitely more precious than gold!