“These trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold—though your faith is far more precious than mere gold. So when your faith remains strong through many trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world.” – 1 Peter 1:7 (NLT)

Ciara Lilly is a Charlotte-area writer. Her faith-based column, Fishers of Men, is published here each Monday. Opinions expressed are solely her own.

When is the last time you were tested spiritually? When’s the last time your circumstances tested you — your faith, your trust, your strength?

Did you pass? Were you prepared?

In many cases, our spiritual tests are like the pop-quizzes we experienced as students. We don’t always know when to expect them, but as long as we continue to study the Word and trust God’s guidance, we guarantee ourselves a passing grade.

Let’s be honest — we’re not going to pass every test. And that’s okay. What’s most important is how you react to your shortcomings. Do you hide them? Do you go on a guilt trip? If so, you’re missing the point. God doesn’t allow our faith to be tested because he relishes in our shortcomings. He’s not ashamed or disappointed when we don’t excel at our tests. No, He loves us just the same, and He wants us to embrace the grace and love He freely gives.

When you don’t perform well on a test, instead of hiding your test results or beating yourself up, share your results with your brothers and sisters. Let them see your mistakes; share with them the feedback your Teacher (the Holy Spirit) gave you. Then, study together and uplift one other. Before you know it, all God’s children will be honor roll students.

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