Many years ago, I was listening to a presentation by a business consultant to the hospital for which I was on staff. The medical executive committee along with the hospital administration agreed to consider a proposal by this consultant group to implement some cost-cutting measures. Some of the measures generated a heated discussion amongst the committee members. Frustrated, the medical chief of staff stood up and pointed at the consultant group and declared, “You need to demonstrate proof of concept.”
Proof of concept.
This term is used to demonstrate the feasibility of a proposed idea or method. In this setting, the chief of staff was asking for a pilot project that could quickly demonstrate the practicality and efficacy of some of the consultant group’s controversial proposals. Proof of concept is utilized in many industries including medicine. Clinical drug and vaccine trials, which have made nearly daily headlines during the COVID pandemic, are a practical example of proof of concept. All of these trials began as smaller pilot studies that first demonstrated the efficacy of the treatment in a small cohort of patients. While there is no guarantee that proof of concept will lead to ultimate success, it is an important first step in establishing confidence and credibility.
Is there a broader application in our spiritual lives?
For you have been given not only the privilege of trusting in Christ but also the privilege of suffering for him.
Philippians 1:29 (NLT)
As uncomfortable as it may sound, trials and suffering are proof of concept that a Christian believer truly belongs to Jesus Christ. Some new believers in Jesus Christ may believe that once they have trusted Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior, their suffering and trials are over. In reality, the battles are just beginning. God uses them to mold and transform believers into the image of Jesus Christ, to become a fellow child of God. Although resisting the temptations may be difficult, God promises to walk with us, always giving us the strength to resist and be triumphant.
The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure.
1 Corinthians 10:13 (NLT)
I do not seek trials, suffering, or temptation. Yet, I can take comfort that when they occur, they are undeniable proof of concept that God loves me and desires me to grow in the grace and knowledge of my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
Love and trust the Lord; seek His will in your life.