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Summary: Part 2 of 6 in a series on exploring "Faith". This message focuses on answering the question, "Why Does God Test our Faith?" using a story of one man who's faith was tested often.

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Faith Series, Part 2

“Why Does God Test our Faith?”

Matthew 14:22-33

- Six part series on our faith

- Wed night: “Faith is our understanding that through the Law we must die to ourselves in order to live for God.”

- Believers often wonder why God would test our faith

- If we are really honest with one another, it is asked more than not

- God often brings situations into our lives to test us

- As a master jeweler inspects diamonds, so God tests us as well

- Tested for one purpose: to reveal and strengthen our character

- Today we will examine 5 reasons why the Lord tests our faith

- Using a very familiar story, we see all of man’s responses

- Stand and Read Matthew 14:22 / Pray

Point 1 – To examine the nature/basis of our faith (25-26)

- When God demonstrates who He is, it is to reveal to us who we are

- Who we are in Him tells much about our realization of our faith

- Ephesians 2:8-9, “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God - not by works, so that no one can boast.”

- Once we realize who we are in Him, we then can be real with ourselves

- 2 Cor 13:5-6, “Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you—unless, of course, you fail the test? And I trust that you will discover that we have not failed the test.”

- However, we must ensure that we are producing from the faith we have

- The fruit that we produce strengthen not only us; but others around us

Point 2 - To strengthen us (27)

- James 1:3, “… because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.”

- When our faith is tested, our response is very telling

- Consider the men in the boat – the troubles happened, and the faith left

-- Right out the window went strength, honor, and dignity

-- How we respond (even when God promises to never leave) …

- APP: If Jesus calls us to get out of the boat, it’s to strengthen us

- But, we have to respond to His calling before we are strengthened

Point 3 - To mature us in Christ (28)

- James 1:4, “Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”

- The faith we’ve been given produces in us maturity in Christ

- However, what happens when we take that first step is very telling

- It shows how much we trust in Jesus versus trusting ourselves

- God calls us to a life of complete surrender; not partial

- However, most will curse God and rebel when tested

- Sad part is, most will blame God for the condition they are in

-- This must lead to a time of repentance; else we’ll never grow

Point 4 - To display His supernatural power and glory (29)

- God wants to reveal Himself to us in all parts of our lives

- It has always been His desire to show us how awesome He is!

- Job 42:1-6, “Then Job replied to the LORD: “I know that you can do all things; no purpose of yours can be thwarted. You asked, ‘Who is this that obscures my plans without knowledge?’ Surely I spoke of things I did not understand, things too wonderful for me to know. “You said, ‘Listen now, and I will speak; I will question you, and you shall answer me.’ My ears had heard of you but now my eyes have seen you. Therefore I despise myself and repent in dust and ashes.”

- Paul even wrote to encourage us and demonstrate how God works

- Rom 8:28, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”

- Remember, being called to His purpose means doing His work

- It means living a life for Him, fully focused on the work He has done

-- The cross, the sacrifice, the blood of Christ supernaturally forgives

-- APP: When we forget what God has done (31), it is then we fail

Point 5 - To identify areas of sin and/or worldliness in us (31)

- We talked a bit about this on Wed night, when we examine faith:

-- "When we examine our faith we recognize our sin, we realize our own failures, and we see our need for a Savior!"

- Psalm 139:23-24, “Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.”

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