James 1:2-4 (NKJV), “My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and lacking nothing.”
1 Peter 1:6-7 (NLT), “So be truly glad. There is wonderful joy ahead, even though you have to endure many trials for a little while. 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.”
Why is it then that the all knowing God, who is sovereign and knows every heart, has to test your faith? Didn’t God knows the result already according to His sovereignty?
Ecclesiastes 3:18, “I said in my heart, “Concerning the conditions of the sons of men, God tests them, that they may see that they themselves are like animals.”
The testing of your faith is not designed to satisfy God’s curiosity, but a process to prove the genuineness of your faith, so you may see for yourself what manner of man you are. Tests are for you in order for you to understand and know who you are and what you are and where you are in your faith life. Some call it a rude awakening. It’s about time to face reality and be serious in your faith walk with God.
Your fellowship with the word of God determines the outcome of the testing of your faith. It is how you respond to His word, because God and His Word are one, you cannot separate them. Ultimately, the testing of your faith is a test of obedience to His Word. The Word of God is in your heart, what are you going to do about it.
Psalm 105:19 (NKJV), “Until the time that his word came to pass, the word of the Lord tested him.”
The word of God will put you to test during trials and testing of your faith. But if the word of God dwells in you richly, you abide in the word and the word abides in you, and you practice the word, and obey the word, then you will surely overcome the trials of your faith. It’s not easy but you can.
People sometimes disobey His word through unbelief and therefore fall into situation where the devil has the opportunity to steal their joy, and put them in bondage to sin and the effects of sin. And then they blame God for the hardships in life when they should have obeyed His word at first. The fact is that people play around with sin. And when sin entrapped them, they accuse God of testing them. Not so.
“Beware, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living God; but exhort one another daily, while it is called “Today,” lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin (Hebrews 3:12 NKJV).”
During the trials and testing of your faith, stay obedient to His word. Let His word be put into action. Don’t leave the word of God in your mind as for intellectual knowledge only. Be steadfast in faith by obedience to His Word. Many were raised within church activities and Christian environment; however, not many live the Word of God. The Word they heard did not do them any good, but why?
“For indeed the gospel was preached to us as well as to them; but the word which they heard did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in those who heard it (Hebrews 4:2 NKJV).
Although you received the gospel, however, it won’t do you any good if you don’t mixed it with faith. Intellectual or mind knowledge of the Bible will not take you to the experience of the life of God. The word of God is alive. The Word of God is not on ink and paper, but it is your heart and they are spirit.
The Apostle Paul is well aware that God tests His people for obedience. Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 2:9, “For to this end I also wrote, that I might put you to the test, whether you are obedient in all things.”
Faith is putting the word of God into action. It means to obey what the Bible says. Obedience means to put into practice what the word of God has to say in any particular aspect of your life. No matter how impossible your situation may appear, no matter how bleak it is, if the word of God says it is possible then it’s possible. Obedience means to live by the word of God.
Most people are extreme believers of their doctors and lawyers’ dictum. They have confidence and trust with these people and they take their words seriously and obey their instructions earnestly. There’s nothing wrong with that. However, believers should act the same way with God. Believers should take the word of God seriously, and have confidence and trust with God by obeying His word earnestly.
Exodus 16:4, “Then the Lord said to Moses, “Behold, I will rain bread from heaven for you, and the people shall go out and gather a certain quota every day, that I may test them, whether they will walk in My law or not.”
Deuteronomy 8:2, “And you shall remember that the Lord your God led you and test you, to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep His commandments or not.”
Trials are designed to test your faith. The Apostle Peter said to greatly rejoice when grieved by various trials, because trials are opportunities to experience the reality and the integrity of the word of God. And as you overcome trials, you become wise and skillful in the word of faith.
You have to understand that faith does not come from test and trials. As a believer, God has given you a measure of faith (Romans 12:3). You already have faith in you. And faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God (Roman 10:17). Faith is not a state of denial either. The fact that you are in a deep problem in life, and you would think that nobody can be able to understand your feeling and situation, however, the Word of God has the answer for you. You don’t run away from trouble, you face them with the Word of God. Faith is standing on the integrity of the word of God.
Trials will make your faith strong. Testing of faith is like putting your muscle in a work out regiment. Muscles need to push and pull resistance to gain strength and power. The more you lift weights, the more you gain strength and power. The more you successfully overcome trials, the more strength and power your faith will become.
The testing of your faith will produce patience. Dictionary defines “patience” as bearing pains or trials calmly or without complaint, manifesting forbearance under provocation or strain, not hasty or impetuous, steadfast despite opposition, difficulty, or adversity.
Allow your patience to work for you, not against you. And when you do, you will reap its blessings and you will lack nothing.
Joshua and Caleb waited for forty years wandering aimlessly in the wilderness and for no reason at all except for waiting for the “Evil Report” generation to die. And after forty years of patience, finally they entered and possessed the promise land. This is incredible application of patience. In today’s generation, forty minutes wait is way too long!
Abraham waited for at least twenty years before the promised son Isaac was born. This was another amazing application of patience.
What Joshua, Caleb and Abraham have done was obedience to the voice of God. At the time, they don’t have the written word of God. They receive God’s word by listening from word of mouth. Another facet of patience is consistency. These three men obviously are living for the glory of God consistently.
1 Thessalonians 2:4, “But we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel, even so we speak, not as pleasing men, but God who tests our hearts.”
God had to test Paul prior to entrusting him the gospel. No wonder Paul has to explain to Timothy the facts of being approved of God. Paul asks, “How can you manage the house of God if you cannot manage your own household?” If you cannot be trusted to properly manage a dollar, why will someone trusts you with a million dollar. You don’t place a loaded firearm into the hands of anyone who is not trustworthy in his behavior to deadly weapons.
Prosperity in all aspects of our lives begins in the heart. God will test your heart for small things before entrusting you with bigger things. Simple as that, however, many could not understand it. If you can’t give spare change to the offering bag because you think you “needed” every penny in your pocket, then guess what, that’s all you can get. God should have been the supplier of all your needs.
The Apostle Peter encourages you to count it all joy when you fall into various kinds of trials and testing of your faith. He has confidence that you as a child of God will reap the benefits of these trials. As you go along trials and tests, your faith is being refined.
Proverbs 17:3, “The refining pot is for silver and the furnace for gold, but the Lord tests the hearts.”
God wants you refined and transformed into His image. Didn’t you know that diamonds are from carbon? When carbon is exposed in an incredible pressure and controlled temperature, it transforms into a precious diamond. The word diamond in Greek means “I subdue,” or invincible, indestructible, unrelenting, and unconquerable. Testing and trials refine your faith – from a carbon to an invincible diamond. As a comparison (per se) with diamond, your faith becomes invincible, indestructible, unrelenting, and unconquerable!
You are a believer. And in the midst of tests and trials you will overcome. You overcome because of who you are in Christ. You have to understand the vastness of this truth:
Ephesians 1: 3, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ.”
This is the secret of the Apostle Paul. You have never seen any human being who ever live on the face of earth with such boldness and authority and with all passion in the teaching of the mysteries of Christ and His Body – the Church. Paul said that you are blessed with all blessings in Christ. Didn’t you know that by the mention of the name of Jesus the Christ, every knee shall bow and every tongue confess in heaven and on earth that Jesus is Lord?
It is not possible that any member of the Body of Christ is defeated in the fight of faith, in trials and in the testing of faith. You are in Christ. Christ is never defeated. You have to understand the extent and the magnitude of the Lordship of your God. Jesus Christ is the King of kings and the Lord of lords. You are in His kingdom. You are to count it all joy when you fall into various trials and testing of your faith, because you are more than conqueror, and these trials and testing of faith will make you complete and lacking nothing.