Scripture Reading: 2 Timothy 3:1-17, Exodus 7:8-13, John 15:18-21
Trials are the anvil on which our faith is formed, and yet it is within those trials that we need more faith. Often times, the thing we need most desperately in the midst of trial is the thing still yet unformed in some ways. How, then, is the Christian to prepare for difficulties? How do we prepare for the moments when “evil people and imposters go from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived” (2 Timothy 3:13)? I know in those moments I’m most desperate for the lifeboat of a proven faith and not a thing that feels feeble, unfinished, or in process. I want bedrock and my faith feels like it rests on sinking sand.
Paul tells Timothy that the answer for how to “continue in what you have learned and firmly believed”—even though it is still being formed—is in “knowing from whom you learned it and how from childhood you have known the sacred Scriptures, which are able to give you wisdom for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus” (vv. 14-15).
The answer to a robust faith in the midst of trials is meditation upon Scripture, shoring up our belief, our faith, and our certainty that God is both good Himself and doing good in all our situations. These words of life are able to make us “wise for salvation, through faith in Christ Jesus” (v. 15). This is an astounding promise and a perfect guarantee. Scripture never returns to us void. It always produces the fruit of righteousness: wisdom through faith in Jesus. Not wisdom in our own ability to get through trials or wisdom in proven methods of success. Wisdom through faith in Jesus.
When we believe Jesus is who He says He is and will do what He says He will do, our faith is bolstered and we are reminded of the hope within us. Apart from Christ Jesus, we can continue in nothing. Apart from faith centered in Him, we can continue in nothing. Apart from wisdom through faith in Him, we can continue in nothing. Apart from Scriptures from which wisdom is gained through faith in Him, we can continue in nothing. And so, in a beautiful full circle, apart from God giving us Scriptures from which wisdom is gained through faith in Him, we can continue in nothing. Everything begins and ends with Jesus, sweet Jesus.
How do we continue in what we have learned and firmly believe? Jesus. Jesus. Jesus. Every day in every way. If trials are the anvil on which our faith is formed, Christ is the hammer and the fire and the blacksmith, and the finished thing is more perfect and beautiful for it all.
Lore Ferguson Wilbert is a writer, thinker, and learner. She blogs at Sayable, and tweets and instagrams at @lorewilbert. She has a husband named Nate, a puppy named Harper Nelle, and too many books to read in one lifetime.