For the believer left standing empty-handed after loss after loss, one of the gifts is this: that with every letting go, every tear that’s shed, and every grief born with the weary but defiant will to utter – even barely through a whisper – “nevertheless, not my will, but yours be done, O God,” he or she is handed the gift of evidence of genuine faith. No cheap imitation, no fair-weather or fox-hole faith can withstand the blows of severe testing and emerge – bloodied and battered, perhaps, but intact – and say, “I believe, Lord, help my unbelief!”
It is a precious gift to the earnest believer who, after fiery trials, severe losses, and intense sufferings emerges through each one crying out to God. That is the proven genuineness of your faith spoken of in 1 Peter 1:7. Even when the hot blast of the fiery furnace causes us to ask him if he’s really there. Even when the suffocating swarms of locusts that destroy everything in their path drive us to ask him if he’s forgotten us. Even when the piercing pain of loneliness and despair cause us to ask through trembling lips, “Do you care?” we have shown that we believe, and that is faith. The worth of being proven genuine is inestimable. And the glory and honor you bring to Jesus – and indeed, you will receive from him – by faithfully enduring through the mess, through the strain and struggle, through the weakness and all brokenness, is worth enduring it. It is worth it.
You will be refined as pure gold. You will learn to comfort others with the comfort with which you have been comforted. You will be strengthened to comprehend things you never could have imagined. But most of all, you will be raised from those ashes knowing that you have been claimed, purchased, rescued, redeemed. The real deal. A daughter. A son. Adopted and secure.
You will know, beyond any shadow of any doubt, with power greater than any lie that would threaten to distort or obscure this truth: you belong to Jesus. Your faith will have been proven. And nothing, whether from heaven or hell, will do anything to change that. Ever.