…your faith, more precious than gold… 1 Peter 1:7
Peter reminds us that our faith is more precious than gold. Although the Bible is full of references to both faith and gold, this is the only verse where the two are linked. For us to more fully appreciate the preciousness of our faith, here are a few ways faith is like gold:
- Both faith and gold cannot be created by man. From King Midas to the ancient alchemists to Rumplestiltskin, men have always sought a way to make gold. Of course, we know now that gold is a base element, composed of only one atom, and cannot be created by any ordinary means—it can only be discovered. In the same way, Paul in Ephesians 2 tells us that faith is not of our manufacture, it cannot be created; it is the gift of God to us.
- Both genuine faith and genuine gold cannot be destroyed by fire. Throw a chunk of “fool’s gold” into a refining furnace, and you get sludge. Throw a chunk of gold ore into a refining furnace, and you get pure gold, even more valuable, out of it. This brings to my mind the phrase out of the stirring song When You Believe from the movie The Prince of Egypt—”Though hope is frail, it’s hard to kill…” We can have full assurance that true faith created in our hearts by God, even though often frail and falliable, can never be destroyed.
- Fire reveals the true nature of gold and faith. In a way, this is even more stunning than the truth of gold and faith’s impreviousness to fire, that fire is actually a way to know true from false gold, true from false faith. In the parable of the sower, Jesus teaches:As for what was sown on rocky ground, this is the one who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy, yet he has no root in himself, but endures for a while, and when tribulation or persecution arises on account of the word, immediately he falls away. (Matthew 13:20-22)
It is the fire of tribulation, trials, and persecution which reveals what first appeared to be genuine faith to have no true root. Conversely, as we experience fire and trials from the hand of God, our faith will become more pure and more precious to us and to God.