2 Corinthians 7:12 “So even though I wrote to you, it was neither on account of the one who did the wrong nor on account of the injured party, but rather that before God you could see for yourselves how devoted to us you are. “
I get Paul’s concern. He had confronted the Corinthian church over a moral issue and didn’t know how they would handle his letter. Confronting is not for the faint of heart. He anxiously awaited Titus’ arrival to report on their response. Would they reject his authority? Would all the trust he had built with them come crashing down? Would they return to their old way of living?
What overflowing, joyous relief when Titus relayed the church’s reaction. Yes, the letter had caused sorrow, but it was godly sorrow that resulted in heartfelt repentance. It evoked in them a new earnestness, a longing to clear themselves and readiness to see justice done (v. 10-11). Most importantly, Paul says it helped them recognize their depth of devotion to him and to God (v.12). They passed the test, not to prove their faithfulness to God. He already knew what they were made of. The test revealed what they were made of to themselves.
Have you ever wondered whether you would be able to stand firm in the tests of life? Imagine after coming through a trial you see at the top of your paper the mark of A+ in blazing red ink. How would that make you feel? Wouldn’t it spur you on to want to love God and serve him even more?
Peter encourages us that trials prove the genuineness of our faith (1 Peter 1:7). It reminds me of couples who have come to us for pre-marital counseling over the years. They believe they love each other, but until they face a brick wall in their relationship and come through it do they have confidence in their future together. Their love passed the test.
So, we will inevitably face tests in life. Not because God is a hard, demanding teacher. But because he wants us to see ourselves the way he does when we pass…. A+ students!