THE TRIAL OF FAITH
Sunday May 29th 2016
Memory Verse: Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you. 1st Peter 4:12
Read: 1st Peter 1:1-7
1 Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to the strangers scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia,
2 Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied.
3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,
4 To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you,
5 Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.
6 Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations:
7 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: King James Version (KJV)
Bible in one year: 2nd Chronicles 5:2-7:3, Proverbs 31:1-15
Faith, by its very nature, must be tried, and the real trial of faith is not that we find it difficult to trust God, but that God’s character has to be cleared in our own minds. Faith in its actual working out has to go through spells of isolation. Never confuse the trial of faith with the ordinary discipline of life. Much that we call the trial of faith is the inevitable result of being alive. Faith in the Bible is faith in God against everything that contradicts Him – ‘I will remain true to God’s character whatever He may do’. “Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him” – this is the most sublime utterance of faith.
Trials of faith are difficult to bear; for they cause heaviness or depression of the mind, (Hebrews 10:32). “Why art thou cast down, O my soul! And why art thou disquieted within me?” is often the language of the child of God. But ought he ever to be cast down? Ought he not to be superior to the trials of life, and to soar above them as on eagles’ wings? No; Christianity is not Stoicism, and, if a believer does not feel his troubles, there would cease to be such, and it would not affect their purpose and design. While, he does not yield to a spirit of dejection, or allow it to overcome him, he must feel when in the furnace or trial even as did our Lord Himself. In the presence of others, however, he should endeavour to be cheerful, and the more so if he occupies a public position in the Church, so that he doesn’t discourage those around him. When Joseph’s brethren appeared before him, he felt deep emotions, and could scarcely restrain himself. He left them, therefore, that he might weep in secret before God, and then he returned, relieved of the oppressive load (Genesis 43:30-31).
“Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as through some strange thing happened unto you:”1st Peter 4:12
Trials of faith should be endured because they are temporary. Trials are not supposed to be permanent fixtures in life, they are for a season.
A day of adversity comes, when darkness intercepts the skies, when the storm sets in on every side, when not a gleam of light shines upon the path you tread; and then, perhaps, you hastily concluded that it will always be so. But no; sorrow endures for the night, but joy comes in the morning. It is only for a while that the trials lasts, and before long there is an opening in the clouds, the sun’s bright beams burst through them again, and you are filled with hope and joy. There are some trials, which are life-long in their effects, and can never be forgotten, like a deep wound in the flesh which, though healed, leaves a scar which must be carried to the grave. But the longest trials, and those which leave the deepest wounds, are only for a season – the season of our earthly life, and in a brighter sphere we shall forget them all, or remember them only as the wounded soldier remembers what he has passed through when he returns victorious from the field of battle. May you receive strength to bear your trials and to overcome all in Jesus’ name.
Father, please don’t let me fail in the trials of life in Jesus’ name.