Summary: No matter the vagaries of life, no matter the turn of events, we have an anchor which holds our soul in life and ensures our stability."The Lord is our Refuge and Strength". Ps. 46:1
For believers, faith is the way of life. “The just shall live by faith” Rom. 1: 7. However whatever has to do with life has to be tested. Man designed and built a flying machine, but he would not entrust it with human life until each component has been tested. No drug is administered to any human being if it has not been tried.
The trial of our faith is inevitable. Spread across the pages of the holy scriptures are evidences of divinely-ordained pattern of life —the evening before the morning, thorn before crown and crucifixion before resurrection. Sometimes tears come before cheers and “grass-ious” experience before gracious pleasure.
James talks about “the trying of your faith”, Paul rejoices in tribulations knowing that they work patience and the Psalmist exhorts that though “many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him from them all.” Jm. 1: 2-4; Rom. 5: 3-5; Ps. 34: 19
Hard times come to everyone —believers or non-believers. It is a matter of “when” not “if”. Is. 43: 1-3. Sometimes it is like the passing of gold through fire and at such times a Christian is alone since he was saved alone.
WHY DOES GOD ALLOW TRIALS?
There is a purpose for every trial God allows in our lives. Paul Said trials work for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory. 2 Cor. 4: 17.
A. CHARACTER PURIFICATION: A character untested remains innocent. Faithfulness of Abraham to God’s covenant will be tested by the fires of various delays and a demand to sacrifice “thine only son, Isaac, whom thou lovest.” Gen. 22: 1-12
Gold glitters only after passing through fire. Our faithfulness, courage, devotion to God will be tried. Our commitment to God’s promises and rugged determination to follow through in the face of contradictory evidences will be tested. Dt. 8: 2, 3; Judg. 7: 1-8; Heb. 2: 10; 5: 8, 9.
B. STEPPING STONE TO HIGHER GROUND: No promotion without examination, no crown without thorns. God builds His generals on the battle field. A man of God is made and not born and the process is like passing through the fire. Is. 43: 2. Many times we don’t understand God’s good intentions for us when we go through trials. Joseph definitely could not understand the bouts of trials and troubles he went through until the day of his promotion came. Christian, what you are going through today may well be the examination before your promotion. Pass it well!
GOING THROUGH SEASONS OF DRYNESS —2 COR. 4: 8-18
1. Don’t magnify your problem: Paul called all his trials ‘LIGHT AFFLICTION‘. v. 17. You need to check this out in 2 Cor. 11: 23-29.
Don’t magnify your mountain before your God, rather magnify your God before your mountain. Treat the devil as though he is not there.
Remember, “greater is He that is in you than he that is in the world.” 1Jn. 4:4 .
2. Always reckon that the trial is temporary—not for ever: “Our light affliction, which is but for a moment” V. 17. Ps. 30: 5 says weeping may endure for a night. Remember, the darkest time is an hour before the dawn. Paul reminded himself every time, “It is but for ‘A MOMENT’ …” Hold on. Keep on. Endure. Remember, “there is hope of a tree,that if it is cut down, it will sprout again” Job.14:79. Rejoice not, mine enemies, if I fall, I will rise again. Mic. 7: 8
3. Don’t fix your eyes on the problem: “While we look not at the things WHICH ARE SEEN …” V. 18 Fix your eyes on the solution. Jesus is. Heb. 12: 2.
4. Train and prepare before the day of adversity: Paul renewed his inward man DAY BY DAY. v.16. The outward strength is determined by inward stamina. Don’t wait to pray emergency prayers. Start to build yourself now.
(a.) “The trial of your faith worketh...” It has a function. It has a goal. Jam. 1: 2-4
(b.) No trial or temptation greater than you can overcome will be allowed to come. You are destined to win. 1 Cor. 10: 13. 2Co 2:14 Now thanks be unto God, which always causeth us to triumph in Christ, and maketh manifest the savor of his knowledge by us in every place.
(c.) Ask God to give you strength to go through. His grace is sufficient for you. 2 Cor. 12: 9.
(d.) Jesus walked where you are walking, so He not only understands but He can succour you. Heb. 2: 18.
(e.) Pray for others you know are going through trying times. Iron sharpens iron. Pro. 27: 17. When Job prayed for his friends, the Lord turned his captivity around. Job 42:10