Do people think they will be left alone after saying “We believe” without being put to the test?  We tested those who went before them: God will certainly mark out which ones are truthful and which are lying. (29:2-3)

It is easy enough to say you believe.  It is easy to want to believe, even.  But real belief is tested and tried.  Faith has been given the easy path but it takes the harder journey towards steadfastness in the midst of trial.  In fact, faith is made strong and true only through a little struggle.

The Christian Bible says it this way:

Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.  Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. (James 1:2-4)

Today’s Quranic passage is an interesting one.  It appears there were some in Muhammad’s sphere of influence who were finding it convenient to claim the Muslim faith in God but when any kind of mistreatment or struggle to be devoted came along they could no longer follow through with their claims of faith.  It was too hard (29:10).

God says he will bring trials into our life as a way to test the resolve of our faith.  Easy, convenient faith is no faith at all.  Who needs faith when everything adds up, when everything is going as expected, or even better?  Is it faith if it never stretches you, if it never makes you trust in rescue or justice or whatever?

They say that butterflies need the struggle that comes from emerging from their chrysalis.  It is a hard process, stressful on the newly formed, untested wings of the butterfly.  Scientists have peeled back the casing of the chrysalis for the butterflies before and what they found is that those butterflies could not fly adequately.  It seems the struggle against the cocoon actually strengthens their wings and prepares them for their life of flight.

Struggles or testing refines us and proves the truth of our faith.