I Peter 4:12-13 says, Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy. In almost any company, there is a department known as quality control. Whenever a company is manufacturing something, there are those who test the object being manufactured to make certain that it stands up to the expectations the company has. Testing does two things.
- It proves the quality of the product.
- It improves the quality of the product.
Testing causes adjustments that improve the product being manufactured. God chose faith as the vehicle for us to please Him. A portion of faith was given to us by God. (Romans 12:3) If we use that faith to put it in God and His Word, one day, because of our faith, we will be rewarded with crowns and the opportunity to reign with Christ.
TESTING STRENGTHENS THE FAITH OF A CHILD OF GOD.
If we were going to go to battle, we would want to make sure that our weaponry was tested before we went. If we were going to jump out of an airplane, we would want to make sure that our parachute had been tested before we jumped. Likewise, Christians need their faith to be tested in order for them to know that they can stand against the wiles of the Devil.
- Our faith must be tested because losing faith in God could cause us to be wounded by Satan’s fiery darts.
- Our faith must be tested so that our shield of faith will help us to be able to move forward for Christ rather than retreating in a backslidden condition.
- Our faith must be tested in order to build and keep a healthy relationship with God.
- Our faith must be tested in order to increase our faith. The purpose of testing our faith is not to break our faith but to strengthen it in order to do more for Christ.
TESTING COMES IN DIFFERENT WAYS.
Everyone’s faith is tested in a unique way. God knows what each of us can bear and what we need in order to better accomplish His purpose. Here are some examples of Bible characters whose faith was tested in various ways.
- Job was tested through his family, wealth, fame, and health.
- Abraham was tested by offering his own son.
- David was tested through his enemies.
- Paul was tested by a physical ailment.
- Daniel was tested by being persecuted for doing right.
- Moses was tested by those who followed him.
TESTING COMES FOR VARIOUS REASONS.
The reason God chooses to allow our faith to be tested is not just for one particular purpose but for several. Here are some of those reasons:
For us to examine our own faith: Self-examination can be hurtful. However, we should at times examine ourselves to make certain that our faith is being strengthened. I Peter 1:6-7 says, Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations: That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ: II Corinthians 13:5 says, Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates? Psalms 17:3 says, Thou hast proved mine heart; thou hast visited me in the night; thou hast tried me, and shalt find nothing; I am purposed that my mouth shall not transgress. Psalms 26:2 says, Examine me, O LORD, and prove me; try my reins and my heart. Psalms 139:23-24 says, Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.
For God to develop our faith: If we are not tested, our faith will not grow. All testing is a part of the strengthening of our faith. James 1:2-4 says, My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing. II Thessalonians 1:3a says, We are bound to thank God always for you, brethren, as it is meet, because that your faith groweth exceedingly,… Luke 17:5 says, And the apostles said unto the Lord, Increase our faith.
For us to prove our faith for the sake of others: There is a cloud of witnesses that revealed to us this truth. Who are these witnesses? They are those who lived lives of faith. Their faith is an example to us or a witness to us. We sometimes think that they are watching us. However, they are a testimony to us as to the result of living by faith. Likewise, our faith can and should be an encouragement to others. I Peter 4:12-16 says, Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy. If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye; for the spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you: on their part he is evil spoken of, but on your part he is glorified. But let none of you suffer as a murderer, or as a thief, or as an evildoer, or as a busybody in other men’s matters. Yet if any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf. II Corinthians 1:4-6 says, Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God. For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also aboundeth by Christ. And whether we be afflicted, it is for your consolation and salvation, which is effectual in the enduring of the same sufferings which we also suffer: or whether we be comforted, it is for your consolation and salvation.
THINGS TO REMEMBER WHEN TESTING COMES
The question is not will our faith be tested. The question is when will it be tested. All of us will have our faith tested. Here are some things we should consider when we are going through such a time.
- An opportunity has arrived for us to do a checkup on our faith in God and His Word. It may be that in some areas we have quit obeying God because things were not happening the way we thought they should happen.
- An opportunity has arrived for our faith to grow. There is no limit to what could be accomplished in our lives except for our faith.
- An opportunity has arrived for us to prove our faith to others that Christ might be honored.
Often Christians who go through a trial are tempted to feel sorry for themselves or to think that it is unfair. Think of others who have gone through trials and testings and consider what it did to their faith. Our goal should be to encourage others that testings come not to hurt us but to strengthen us and to prepare us for what God has for us to do.
Pastor Neal, through his preaching and his counseling, displays the compassionate heart of a pastor, follows the true leading of the Holy Spirit, and expresses a fervent desire to see lost souls come to know Christ. It is his ultimate desire to see the greater Jacksonville area reached for the cause of Christ and for revival to come to Northeast Florida.