Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. (James 1:2-4)
In Hawaii, the test to become a Hawaiian Kahuna Wa’a (a navigator and canoe builder) was very difficult. The test was, in most cases, a matter of life and death, for the individual as well as for the future of his family and community. It was so intense, in fact, a student could only receive the test after the Kumu (teacher) was certain the student was ready. If the student passed, he would then be deserving of the title and responsibility, Kuleana of the Kahuna Wa’a.
For the test, the student was blindfolded during the dark of night, placed in a canoe, and taken to the middle of the ocean. Then, being out of sight of the islands, was tossed overboard along with all the parts and supplies to assemble a canoe. Of course, the student passed the test only if he was able to construct the canoe and sail it back home. Having a person with these skill sets was necessary and would ensure the survival of the community.
Even though we may ask God for a test to see if our faith is genuine, as David wanted in Psalm 26, we can be assured God will not test us unless He knows we are fully ready. Through Jesus’ obedience to His Father's will at the cross, and because we have in us the love of Christ, we can pass any test of our genuine faith.
O Lord, thank you for testing our hearts and minds, in order that we may have a genuine faith in your forgiving love through grace, that is in Jesus. Amen.