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The Testing of Your Faith

Added by Holger Bergner on August 2, 2013. · No Comments · Share this Post

Filed under Faith that Overcomes, Grow

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There are challenges in your life that test your faith, and not just test it, but sometimes reach into the depths of your spirit, grab your heart and rip it out, throw it to the ground, stomp on it, beat it to a pulp, and then hold it in front of your face, saying, “Now do you believe?”

Guestblog by Peter Lerwick:

This article is plain-spoken and hard-hitting in that it deals with the stark reality of Christian life—that there are difficulties that we, as Christians, go through, which sometimes take us right to the brink when it comes to our faith.

This is down-to-earth Christianity, the kind we have to live every day.—Christianity in our disappointments, Christianity in times of defeat. The blood, sweat, and tears, everything-seems-to-be-going-wrong-and-prayers-aren’t-being-answered Christianity. In other words, the realities that we each face in life and our response to them from the Christian perspective.

Almost every life coach, motivational speaker, and self-help book will tell you that your attitude toward the challenges you face makes all the difference: whether you meet the challenges or cower before them in defeat. They’ll teach you that life is full of adversity and complications, that there will be defeats and disappointed dreams, and that no one is immune to them. That these are the realities of life, and you must learn to accept these realities and take a positive stand in order to overcome them.

We have to deal with these things from the perspective of faith. There are challenges in your life that test your faith, and not just test it, but sometimes reach into the depths of your spirit, grab your heart and rip it out, throw it to the ground, stomp on it, beat it to a pulp, and then hold it in front of your face, saying, “Now do you believe?” Life does that to faith sometimes and we’ve all either experienced it ourselves or watched others experience it.

Lets use the classical biblical example of Job and his defeats, the loss of livelihood, the loss of home, the loss of health, the loss of family, the betrayal of friends and even wife. He is brought to the brink of loss of faith. God wasn’t answering his prayers. He wasn’t supplying. He wasn’t delivering him. Everything screamed at him that faith had failed, that God wouldn’t answer, that God didn’t care, “So give up, turn your back on God, and die.”

I’ve been reading a book about the history of Christianity, and within its pages is the story of the difficulties that Christians faced century after century. It starts with Christ Himself, who was whipped and crucified, then the difficulties His disciples and earlier followers faced, Paul’s trials and tribulations, and the following centuries of persecution. The hardships Christians throughout history have encountered carries on throughout the ages until today. Life is hard. The Christian life is hard. That’s a reality.

We can benefit by understanding that one’s faith can be tested to the limit, that when God is not answering prayer as expected, it can feel as if He is so far away, or perhaps not even there at all, which can lead to a crisis of faith.

We are faced with the age-old question of, “If I’m believing in God and I’m committing my life to Him, if I am serving Him, then why is He allowing such difficult times in my life?” Let us think about the attitudes that can develop when one finds him- or herself in such a situation, which generally happens at some time or another to all of us. Such deep questions challenge our faith. It asks if we are a fair-weather believer or if our faith is “real gold” faith.

When things go wrong we can tend to become impatient, asking God in a murmuring spirit why He is allowing difficulties in our lives, “Well, God, if I were You, I’d do things better than You’re doing them! I’d be more righteous!” In other words, “I’m more righteous than God! I’m better than God! God isn’t good, or He wouldn’t let all these things happen!”

But that’s because we don’t understand God. We don’t understand what He’s doing or why He’s doing it, and we’ll never understand until we have faith to trust Him that He knows best. It’s just like a little child has to trust a parent even though he doesn’t understand why he must do this or that or not do it. He just has to “do it because Mom and Dad say so!”

God tests our faith to see if it’s real gold faith and if we’ll still believe and trust Him no matter what happens. He says, “The trying of your faith is more precious than gold!”—The testing of it! “Yea,” He says, “than much fine gold!” Gold will go through the fire and still come out pure gold, even purer gold, if it’s real gold!

That’s the difference between real faith and supposed faith: Real faith can stand the test and go through the fire and still come out better than ever before, like gold! But that something that looks like faith, the minute it goes through the fire, see what you’ve got left!

God doesn’t judge you by how much you give. He judges you by how much you’ve got left. He doesn’t even judge you by how much you claim to have, but by how much you have when He gets through with you.

Keep going for God! Keep believing, keep trusting and following Him, no matter what happens! Maybe you’ll come out without even the smell of smoke on you, and with a bigger family, and richer and healthier and happier and wiser than ever, like Job—if you will just hang on a little longer like he did and not give up.

Like the famous Captain John Paul Jones, wounded, half of his men dead or dying and his ship sinking and on fire, when asked by the enemy if he was ready to surrender he screamed, “Hell, no! We haven’t even begun to fight yet!” And he won—in the long run!

Maybe you haven’t even begun to fight the Enemy of your soul, the ol’ Devil yet! Maybe you haven’t resisted unto blood like Jesus did, even unto the death of the cross! But even though it cost Him His life, only three days later He rose in triumph from the tomb, so how do you know? Even death itself couldn’t hold Him down!

Photo credit: Dave Hogg via Photopin CC

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