Summary: Other people see us go through trials, and how we conduct ourselves is a witness to them of God in us.
8-5-’01 IS YOUR LIFE A WITNESS OF YOUR FAITH?
2 My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations;
3 Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.
4 But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.
5 If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.
There is perhaps no time in our lives when sinners watch us more to see what we will do, than when it seems everything is going wrong.
For the character of a person will come to the forefront then as at no other time.
I like to try to remember when some ‘trial’ comes into my life, that God is trying to do a work ‘in me.’
But if I don’t allow that work to take place, the devil will also try, by the trial, to do a work also.
The Bible tells us…
16 Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?
When something goes wrong, if you are a ranter and a raver, [guess what] - you are not yielding your members unto righteousness.
I remember one time, my mom saw a man out back of our house stomping and saying things that he ought not say. I don’t think it ever entered her head that this man was suppose to be a Christian, because he certainly wasn’t being Christ-like. But later we found out he was suppose to not only be a Christian, but a Pentecostal.
Talk about a shame and a reproach! Can you imagine anyone looking at that scene and saying, ‘That is what Christ is like.’
But Christian means ’Christlike.’
How we act when things go wrong, tells others what we really are.
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:
True faith is, in every case, the operation of the Spirit of God.
Its nature is purifying, elevating, heavenly.
It is, of all things that can be cultivated in the human breast, one of the most precious.
It is called, "like precious faith," and Paul called it "the faith of God’s elect."
Wherever faith is found, it is…
the sure mark of a blessed condition-
the forecast of a heavenly destiny-
the eye of the renewed soul-
the hand of the regenerated mind-
the mouth of the new-born spirit-
the evidence of spiritual life-
the mainspring of holiness-
the foundation of delight-
the prophecy of glory-
And the dawn of endless knowledge.
If you have faith, you have infinitely more than he who has all the world, and yet is destitute of faith.
To him that believeth it is said, "All things are possible."
Faith is the assurance of son-ship-
the pledge of inheritance-
the grasp of boundless possession-
And the perception of the invisible.
Within your faith there lies glory, even as the oak sleeps within the acorn. If you have faith, you don’t need to ask for much more, except that your faith may grow exceedingly, and that you may lay hold of all the promises which are made to it.
He who has it is blessed; because he pleases God… he is justified before the throne… he hath full access to the throne of grace… and he has the preparation for reigning with Christ for ever.
WOW! Isn’t faith wonderful?
A beautiful rose in the garden of God.
But roses are famous for something else too. To harvest roses, you have to endure the pricks of the thorns. If you are going to have faith that is enduring, that faith is going to have to go through the fire. That is the trial of your faith.
These two things are put together-- faith and trial….
You cannot possess the faith without experiencing the trial.
YOUR FAITH WILL MOST SURELY BE TRIED.
You may rest assured of that. A man may have faith, and be for the present without trial; but no man ever had faith, and was all his life without trial.
That could not-- must not be; for faith, in the very nature of it, implies a degree of trial.
My faith is tried in believing the promise, in waiting for the fulfilment of the promise, in holding on to an assurance of that promise while it is delayed, and in continuing to expect the promise, and acting upon it until it is in all points fulfilled.