And maybe also as a solution to the problem of evil, too, though that’s easier to question (stuff like “nobody seems to be tested fairly, though”).
This “test of faith” argument does notwork for those of us who are not granted “faith.”
King James Version (KJV)
11 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
Common English Bible (CEB)
17 So, faith comes from listening, but it’s listening by means of Christ’s message.
Well, that just doesn’t work for some of us. It does not work logically or literally. We see too many unanswered prayers, too many broken promises in the Bible. Jesus promised that we could ask God anything in his (Jesus’) name and God would answer. He promised that God would take care of us the same way God took care of the birds of the field. But that’s not true. Innocent people get killed in wars, in traffic accidents, in fatal illnesses by the tens of thousand, by the million. This happens to Christians as well as everyone else.
Sure, sometimes accidents are avoided and sometimes people are cured of supposed terminal illness and there’s always some survivors of concentration camps and wars. But Jesus didn’t say “some” or “sometimes.” He said “if we pray to God in his name.” If it doesn’t work that way and people get injured or killed, Christians defend God/Jesus by calling it a “test of faith.” They label it “evil” or “the problem of evil,” and admonish us not to give up on God because Satan got in the way. And on and on and on, world without end.
It’s crazy-making! If the literal promises of the Bible cannot be trusted in our everyday life that we can see, hear, touch, smell, taste, how are we to trust the Bible’s promise about an unseen intangible God above the sky or life after death? The “evidence” or “substance” of faith mentioned above in Hebrews is blind trust that I can fly when I jump off the cliff. It is trust that there is a God to save me from evil even if I walk into the fire or den of lions. I was born with an intelligent brain that has kept me alive through all kinds of dangers. I refuse to let go of it.
If you can provide real hard evidence for God I will look at it. Otherwise, don’t even try to refute what my senses tell me is real.