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How God Tests Our Faith

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Sermon shared by Rick Warren

February 2007
Summary: We tend to get what we expect out of life. According to our faith, it will be done to us. Pastor Rick and Pastor Holladay teach four ways that God tests our faith.
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Audience: General adults
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HOW GOD TESTS OUR FAITH
Rick Warren
February 10-11, 2007

Pastor Tom and I want to talk to you about, How does God test our faith?

The Bible says in Matthew 9:29 "According to your faith it will be done unto you." That’s one of my favorite verses in the Bible. What are you expecting God to do in your life? This is the law that God has established. It’s called the Law of Expectation. The fact is, we tend to get what we expect out of life. We tend to see what we expect to see. We tend to hear what we expect to hear. We tend to feel the way we expect to feel. We inevitably accomplish what we expect what we’re going to accomplish. This is the law of faith. God says you get to choose. Because "According to your faith it will be done unto you."

Another important verse on faith in the Bible is Hebrews 11:6. "Without faith it is impossible to please God." How many of you are parents? How many of you are pleased when your children trust you? God is the same way. God is our heavenly Father and God is pleased when we trust Him. That’s why the Bible says without faith it’s impossible to please God.

You can obey God. You can do the right thing and still not be pleasing God because you’re not doing it in faith. So it’s important to learn how to live expectantly as you learn to live by faith.

"Whatever is not of faith," the Bible says in Romans 14, "is sin."

Because that’s true we need to talk tonight about how do we grow in our faith. In Luke 17:5 the apostle said to Jesus, "Lord increase our faith." How do you do that? I’d like to have more faith. I know you’d like to have more faith. If that’s what pleases God then I want to have more of it. The question is how? If faith is what makes my life rewarding and fulfilling and confident how does God build my faith?

Let me ask you this: do you take vitamins for it? No. Is there some kind of therapy you go through to have your faith built? No. Is there some seminar that’s going to build your faith? No, not really.

Here’s the secret. And it’s not really something you’re real excited about when you first hear it. But the truth is God builds your faith and my faith by testing it. He builds our faith by putting it to the test, by trying it. Faith is like a muscle and when it’s stretched and it’s pulled then it develops. When you test your muscles against weights then your muscles develop. And your faith develops as it is tested.

You don’t develop your faith just setting on your blessed assurance in church. James 1:3 says this "The testing of your faith [circle this] develops perseverance [circle "develops perseverance"] so that you may be mature and complete." He says the purpose of these tests is that our faith, our perseverance will grow and will be mature and complete.

Job says the same thing speaking from experience in Job 7:17-18 "What is man that You make so much of him and that You give him so much attention and that You examine him every morning and test him every moment." Circle "test him." Did you realize that God is testing you every moment of your life? In the Purpose Driven Life book I talk about how life is a test and it is temporary assignment and it’s a trust. These are the facts of life. Every moment of the day your faith is being
Comments and Shared Ideas
Richard Arndt
December 16, 2013
As in the case with Job, the "tester" was satan. It is my understanding that God is not the author of sin, but God authorizes sin (free will choices). My understand of testing, trials, temptations is that satan is the creator and initiator and God is authorizes satan to carry on in this world. In other words, God does not create the test, trial or temptation... satan does... and God allows it. To say that "God is testing me" suggests God directly creates the test, trial, temptation... that God is authoring and implementing the test. This does not seem right. Is it appropriate to say "God is testing me"? Please clarify. Thanks.
Agboola Olanrewaju
July 8, 2014
Good Day, Genesis chapter 22 from verse 1 to 12 is a classical example of God testing Abraham. In verse 12 God said now I know. This shows that Abraham passed the test. Major tests from God include test of Obedience and test of our love for Him. Thank you.
Jerameel Fabella
November 21, 2013
What a wonderful message,Pastor Rick ,can I share it to my fellow church members? Thanks.
Jerameel Fabella
November 21, 2013
What a wonderful message!Can I share it to my fellow church members pastor Rick.Thanks
Joshua Powell
April 8, 2012
Pastor, I liked what you wrote and a lot of it makes sense. But I really never understood the concepts of God "testing our faith". If God is Almighty, he is surely omniscient. Meaning he knows everything that was, is and will be. If that is correct, why would God ever have to test humans? Would he not already know who is faithful? Why would God have to test how we''d react to certain demands or hardships? If he''s God, certianly he already knows these things. So please explaine why an ALL KNOWING God would have to test anyone?
William Simms
August 15, 2013
Hi Joshua, I read your post just today. I believe I understand your question. So I share this observation. There is a difference between a test and a temptation. Test are permitted by God but they are purposeful. It is like passing from one grade to the next. James 1 says, "Count it all joy when you go through divers kinds of test, knowing that the trying or testing of your faith worketh patience (Test are purposeful) but let patience have her perfect work that you may be perfect, (mature, complete) lacking nothing." Peter also talks about the testing of your faith, again purposeful. However, Temptation comes from the enemy to bring you down and destroy you, but I rather say, testing is permit by God to push you up." So test are not bad, we just need to pass them so we can be mature and complete, lacking nothing. (It is a process.) Bless you brother.
Santosh James
October 24, 2013
Hi Joshua, There is purpose behind the tests. At school it was only the tests that showed us how much we knew and how much we knew was right. God knows everything, but I don't. The tests are designed to promote me not fail me. The tests itself will show whether I will lean on God or myself. God is building character in his children and all the tests are designed by a loving Father to build the character of His Son in us.We are called to reign, but in His kingdom only those with his character can reign. Alternately it is called fruit of the Holy Spirit. Think of a Christmas tree and a an apple tree. How easy it is to run down and collect the colourfully wrapped gifts, so is it to receive the gifts of the Holy Spirit. But for the apples to come, and to reach full maturity it takes a lot of effort.God the gardener comes looking for fruit( John 15). Even the way we uses our gifts are a test!!Read Deuteronomy 8:2 too, it will help you. God Bless
Billy Smith
February 13, 2014
It is for us! and in part for him, it's like when you first came into a relationship with him HOW AWESOME was that! That day you realized you where a sinner and how you needed a saviour and you found him, rather he found you. Did god know your your salvation would happen on that day? Yes! He did, did you? No! What happened after your salvation? Maybe something like this, oh thank you father, thank you, thank you. For us to discover his love and power. and in part for him he gets ALL the glory. Like when you buy someone special a gift they have ALWAYS wanted you know how they are going to react! It's something they couldn't ever get themselves, did it ruin the surprise? Even when you knew how they would respond, no! In fact you knowing their response makes you the more excited
Maribel Loera
July 16, 2011
Thank you Pastor Rick for your message,it blessed me,when I read that there is a smile in God when we trust him,it broke my heart,I started crying and I prayed the dangerous prayer,I said,Lord please increase my faith.Thank you.God bless you Pastor.
Berno Nilsson
May 17, 2011
Thank You Dear Rick, - for the teaching we have heard before, but not eaten with such appetite. Because Gods Sprit given you such wonderful gift of vivid explanation of what it is that happens to us, and why.
William Hernandez
January 6, 2010
Beautiful sermon Pastor Rick. thank you for sharing
William Hernandez
January 6, 2010
Beautiful sermon Pastor Rick. thank you for sharing
Sheila Hamilton
October 14, 2008
Pastor Rick, great message. I understand very well why my daughter and son-n-law, Tonya and Richard Barnes love your teaching so much. As a parent and a minister it is wonderful to know that they are covered spiritually by so great a ministry. Thanks
Sheila Hamilton
October 14, 2008
Pastor Rick, great message. I understand very well why my daughter and son-n-law, Tonya and Richard Barnes love your teaching so much. As a parent and a minister it is wonderful to know that they are covered spiritually by so great a ministry. Thanks
Jeff Martin
September 25, 2008
thanks for this work of love i am a bi voc. & reading this lets me know that test faith builds strength & hope for all that we reach in our labour for GOD Rev. jeff martin
Very good message, Pastor Warren. It is a good message to re-read from time to time to keep ourselves on track. Thank you for sharing it with us.

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