Tried and Tested
Pastor Gbenga Shadare
We have a major confrontation, a lifetime challenge that as believers and God's people, we must deal with as long as we are Christians. Believers are not guaranteed a rose garden or a peace haven. We are not promised a pain-less, suffering-less and losses-free life. Indeed, the mark of a believer is defined by the battles he is called to confront and the 'real' issue is not how many battles we fight but the constant, consistent saving grace of God. Life is full of tests. Just like we get tested in normal things to obtain qualifications, certifications and licenses or employments or even medical examinations so also are we faced with various tests in life. It is inevitable that many of us will experience and grow through tests: tests in our finances, marriages, relationships, careers/jobs/businesses, academic pursuits, societal and institutional tests. We respond to these tests either with hopeful-ness or with hopelessness(confidence and despondence). Sometimes we are confident and at other times we are despondent and fearful.
Tests are daunting and we all hate them. We feel terribly anxious about them. We are terrified, petrified and apprehensive whenever we are called to observe or undertake a test. We are never at our best when tests are involved. Sometimes we become indifferent, dismissive and philosophical and most times, without being aware or realising it, we fail to see how God demonstrates His presence and love for us whenever we experience tests and trials.The fact is: whether we like it or not TESTINGS and TRIALS are guaranteed phases of life. We shall have several tests in our journey of life and it helps to know that many of the tests, trials and challenges that we face or are confronted with are orchestrated and engineered by God. We read from Psalm 66:10-12 (KJV) “For thou, O God, hast proved us: thou hast tried us, as silver is tried. .Thou broughtest us into the net; thou laidst affliction upon our loins.Thou hast caused men to ride over our heads; we went through fire and through water: but thou broughtest us out into a wealthy place”.
The Psalmist pointedly asserts that God is the author of tests. To be “proved” by God is to be tried and tested by God. The old English word, “prove” connotes a process of being called to demonstrate our abilities and qualities; to show our true mettles and what we are made of. The strength of a precious metal does not lie in its raw-ness but in its potential - its ability to glow, shine and radiate quality after being tested. Gold and silver became what they are because they are proven in the furnace of fire to reveal their true worth. In the same way, God takes us through “the fire, the furnace of life” so that His right grind produces, and, gives us the right flavour that we need to fulfil His destiny. The trials and testings are God's prerogative and He does them for one purpose: to make us wiser, better and stronger in order to fulfil our divine destinies. Testings and trials are designed to build in us godly character and strength which helps us become better individuals doing God's will in a world that is full of perversion and corruption.
If you go through the lives of the patriarchs – Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, David, Job, Peter, Paul and the apostles, there was not a single one of them that did not go through divine testings and trials. They became MEN of GOD and obtained divine attestations because of how they gracefully learnt obedience through the things they suffered. Even the scripture speaks of Jesus in the same way.
Why are divine testings and trials necessary?
We need to understand why God permits testings and trials in our lives. Let me attempt a checklist of some of the reasons that I have, in my own life, experienced. The list may not be exhaustive but it would surely help us to educate us as to why we have to endure these trials with grace, patience and wisdom.
1.The first reason is so that God can “put His fear” before our faces so that we can acknowledge His sovereignty and be rightly guided to become righteous by learning to avoid sin. In Exodus 20:20(KJV) we read,“And Moses said unto the people, Fear not: for God is come to prove you, and that his fear may be before your faces, that ye sin not.” The fear of God is the beginning of wisdom. Reverential fear is in indispensable quality that is sorely needed in today's church. When we fear God we will stop taking so many things for granted. When the fear of God is absent in a community or in a church or in the lives of men and women, there is a lack of a proper sense of perspective and errors, perversion of truths and transgression of God's law becomes inevitable. The fear of God helps us to stay on the right path; that is why God says he will put it before our eyes – literally what this means is akin to God using it as our his fear as our divine “sat-nav” to help navigate life as we journey through it.
2. The second reason which is a corollary of the first, is so that God can build our character and strengthen our aversion to sin. God wants us to be people of integrity and men and women of character. Without good character, violating God's laws and commands becomes an easy pattern of living where our own liberties take over and drive us to live life as we like. But when we have solid character, we develop the ability and the stamina to withstand pressures that comes when rough times comes. Character is what comes to the fore when satan tempts us to violate God's laws. Joseph refused to sin even when he could have convinced himself that no one will discover it. Bob Gass puts it nicely when he wrote, “Joseph refused the advances of Potiphar's wife, not because he thought he couldn't get away with it, but because he knew he couldn't live with himself if he accepted them.” Our Lord pointedly told Satan to get off his back when He was tempted. Daniel refused to defile himself in a sinful environment. Sin is a direct result of lacking the fear of God. Where there is no reverence for God, it becomes easy to sin. The psalmist affirms boldly that the recipe for sin is to put God's word(Godly fear and reverence) in our hearts (and before our faces)
3. The third reason God allows trials, is, as strange as it may sound, to enable us love him more. Deuteronomy 13:3(KJV) “Thou shalt not hearken unto the words of that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams: for the LORD your God proveth you, to know whether ye love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul.” Loving God more is a command in the scripture and though we may question why a loving God, would allow pain and suffering in our lives we can question His motive. Just like our earthly fathers lovingly correct us and make us suffer from our own errors, in the same way, God uses situations and circumstances to draw us to the place of affection and love for Him.
4. We are permitted trials and tribulations by God so that we may love His WORD. God uses trials and tests to teach about what is the most important thing in our lives. We may complain and groan but God wants us to know that He's got our best interests and His desire is that we realise that the solution to whatever adverse situation we may be going through lies entirely in HIM and HIS WORD. If we cooperate with God, we can survive any adversity with aplomb and grace and we can become proficient in His Word. Deuteronomy 8:3(KJV) “And he humbled thee, and suffered thee to hunger, and fed thee with manna, which thou knewest not, neither did thy fathers know; that he might make thee know that man doth not live by bread only, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the LORD doth man live.”
5.Trials and testings also help us to discern between what is RIGHT and what is WRONG so that we can choose the former. Deuteronomy 6:18 (KJV) “And thou shalt do that which is right and good in the sight of the LORD: that it may be well with thee, and that thou mayest go in and possess the good land which the LORD sware unto thy fathers.” We learn from mistakes and failures and when God puts us through tests, we learn to discern correctly what pleases God and what displeases Him. In the world, there is a maxim about experience being the best teacher. That is not completely true though. Testings and trials that are orchestrated by God are the best teacher.
6. Another reason why God allows us to be tested and tried in the furnace of life's experiences is so that we might learn humility. Humility is a virtue that is in short supply in this age where celebrities are revered and treated like gods. What makes humility possible is meekness and teachableness. In Deuteronomy 8:2-3, the scripture declares, “And thou shalt remember all the way which the LORD thy God led thee these forty years in the wilderness, to humble thee, and to prove thee, to know what was in thine heart, whether thou wouldest keep his commandments, or no. And he humbled thee, and suffered thee to hunger, and fed thee with manna, which thou knewest not, neither did thy fathers know; that he might make thee know that man doth not live by bread only, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the LORD doth man live.” God understands that the hearts of men is desperately wicked and evil and proud and, only by taking us through trials and tribulations can we ever learn to surrender to His will and become humbled, this is why the bible speaks of God resisting the proud and giving grace to the humble. (James 4:6)
7. God uses trials and testings to prepare us for higher service and accomplishments. In Psalm 105: 19-22 we read about Joseph and the way God used his painful experiences to catapult him to greater heights “He sent a man before them, even Joseph, who was sold for a servant:Whose feet they hurt with fetters: he was laid in iron:Until the time that his word came: the word of the LORD tried him.
The king sent and loosed him; even the ruler of the people, and let him go free. He made him lord of his house, and ruler of all his substance:To bind his princes at his pleasure; and teach his senators wisdom.” The story of Joseph is a remarkable story of resilience and strength of over life's adversities. God used the trials and testings he went through as training to prepare him for higher service. The whole journey of our life in many ways mirrors the life of Joseph. What can be gleaned from the the scripture is: God determines the duration of the trials we go through. It was not “until the time” that God's word came to set Joseph free and push him into his destination that things started changing. Unless the word of God had come at the time it came, Joseph's time in the prison was to continue. You might think it was Pharaoh's word that set Joseph free, and you might be right unless of course you have a divine perspective on how God orchestrates events to suit His divine plan. It was God's word the prompted the King Pharaoh to set Joseph free and it was God's word that began the process the eventually culminated in his promotion to Egyptian Premiership. If the Word sentenced you to the prison of afflictions, the Word will set you free and promote to honour.
8. Trials develops in us the virtue of patience. The bible declares that we have need for patience to help us do God's will (Heb.10:36). Nothing helps to accelerate the virtue of patience in us more than God's orchestrated trials and testings. James 1:3 says “Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.” The tests of our faith produces patience if we learn to cope with them with philosophic stoicism and graceful comportment. Patience helps us to develop the spirit of discernment and the graceful demeanour that we need to remain calm in the face of life's challenges.
9. Tests of faith helps us to receive eternal reward – the crown of life – which God has promised to those who endure to the end. Paul captured it best when he exhorted us to “endure afflictions” (2 Timothy 4:5) before finally charging us to fight the “good fight”, “keep the faith” and “finish the course”so as to eventually gain the “crown of righteousness” (2 Timothy 4:7-8). I believe the ultimate is for us to receive the crown of eternal life after our journey has ended on this plane. What a shame it would be if after running the race and beating all the odds only to end up not inheriting the crown? God delights in our success and He knows that the journey would be rough but we have His assurances that we should be of good cheer that He has already overcome and thats cheering news indeed.
10. The last thing I would like to talk about is how the test of faith helps to build our spiritual gifts. Divine trials create the pathway to excellence in the operations of spiritual gifts. One of the ways we can know the spirit of the antichrist is through the strength of character and the spirit of patience that is produced in us through the tests of our faiths. 1 John 4: 1- 6 “Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone into the world. Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God. And every spirit that confessseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist whereof ye have heard that it should come and even now already is it in the world. Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.”
Beloved knowing that trials and tribulations are inevitable, it is better to surrender willingly to them than to struggle against them. 1 Chronicles 29:17 “I know also, my God, that thou triest the heart and hast pleasure in uprightness. As for me, in the uprightness of mine heart I have willingly offered all these things: and now have I seen with joy thy people , which are present here, to offer willingly unto thee.” God ordains, controls and orchestrates the trials, and tribulations in our lives in order to make us spiritually stronger and grow. God had ordained that “the overcomer” shall inherit the promises - Revelation 2:7 “To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the Tree of Life”. Also, in Revelation 3:12, Christ declares, “Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God.”
In every age, it was to the overcomer that the Lord made the promises. Therefore, if we must be overcomers, there must of necessity be things to overcome. The Church of God today need an understanding of the the fact that God means the BEST and has the best plans for us when it comes to testings and trials. Job, the man of God epitomises the kind of expectant and hopeful spirit that we need to have when we are undergoing terribly tough times. In Job 23:10 we read “But He knoweth the way that I take, when he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold.” The question I would like to ask of you my readers is : To whom do you give credit to when you are going through hard and difficult times? Prophet Zechariah saw the revelation about the glorious end of believers and he wrote of that glory in Zechariah 13:9, “And I will bring the third part through the fire, and will refine (them) as silver is refined, and try them as gold is tried. They ( the tried ones) shall call on my name and I will hear them. I will say it is my people, they shall say the Lord is my God.”
Abraham, the father of faith (and the faithful) got that title because he was not ashamed to be put to trial by God. Indeed, there is something interesting about the way the scripture put it in Genesis 22:1, “And it came to pass after these things, that God did tempt (test) Abraham....” That remarkable, matter-of-factly, mildly put style is incontestably clear in its connotation. We are not left in any doubt as to the act, and the author of the act and the actor of the act. God TESTED Abraham. Abraham had no choice but to be tested by God. The test of Abraham's faith was designed and intended, as all our own tests are as well, to teach us to learn not just to wait to gain what we hope for but to also learn to give up what we have gained. In short, it was teach us that no matter how long and how painful it takes to wait for something, it should never be too difficult to give it up, if giving it up was required by God.
Going further, we read in Hebrews 11:17 how, “by faith Abraham, when he was tried, offered up Isaac, and he that had received promises offered up his only begotten son.” In 2 Chronicles 32:31, we read about how God left King Hezekiah to “try him so that He might know all that was in his heart.” Proverbs 17:3 declares “the fining pot is for silver and the furnace for gold; but the Lord trieth the hearts” The word picture or imagery used in that scripture clearly demonstrates how we should see the tests that God takes us through: our test are like silver or gold burnished in the furnace so that we become precious saints whose, intrinsic value/quality emerge from out of the harshness of our tests. As believers, we have been enlisted in a race; and this race calls for one thing and one thing only: finishing well. Just like Christ set us an example of how we can endure these trials and the pains that inevitably comes with them, in order to finish the race, so must we too be strong to endure to the end. We develop the stamina that helps us to weather the storms of life through these tests so that we can say like Apostle Paul, “we have fought the good fight, we have finished the race and we have kept the faith.”
How to endure God's tests
The following principles will help us in not only enduring the tests of life and faith but also to grow the stamina that gracefully helps us to cope with them.
1. Understand that the battles and struggles that God brings our ways are good. The fights we fight are a good fight! These battles ultimately teaches us, trains us, stretches us and develops our characters, our visions, our faiths; our convictions and they make us qualified, fit and ready candidates for the Kingdom. When we come through these battles, we can apprehend the totality of God's plan for humanity and consequently gain a divine perspective on many issues which in turn grants us the emotional and intellectual stability that helps us focus on the bigger picture. We fight a good fight because we realise that the outcome is already determined. We know of a certainty that our victory is guaranteed. This assured, settled knowledge helps us to remain cheerful and confident that ALL things always work together for our good and that God who began a good work in us will surely complete it on the day of Christ.
2. You will require the ability to go through your struggles and challenges stoically. The bible calls you “blessed” by just going through your trials and testings. The last thing you want to do is complain. God does not like complainants and murmurers. God detests those who complain. Moses had to contend with such characters whilst he was leading the Israelites in the wilderness. 1 Corinthians 10:10, Numbers 11:1, Numbers 14:22, 27 and Psalm 106: 21 -27. Murmurings and complaints tempt God and could be a major clog in the transition from failure to success. There is nothing more catastrophic for a believer than having a complaining and murmuring attitude. When we undergo testings one of the most dangerous things we can do is to tempt God by our complaints. The consequences for those who did was disastrous. Why exactly is complaints and murmurings dangerous? Because they infuriate God and they prolong the pains and sufferings needlessly. So avoid murmurings, complaints and endure your struggles with stoicism.
3. Guard your mind. Proverbs 4:23 “Guard your heart with all diligence, for out of it are the issues of life” The greatest challenges to your faith and the greatest opposition to your ability to “fighting the good fight” is the constant, unrelenting demonic/devilish assault on your mind. Your mental state and your mind is attractive to the devil. He wants to have as much ground and influence on it as possible. He will do all that is possible to have control of it by constantly assailing your emotions, your intellect and your creative faculties. He will try to con, deceive, trick, hoodwink, lie, defraud, dupe, inveigle, gull, double-cross, outwit, mislead, beguile, diddle, hoax, swindle, delude, shaft and fool us. Mental health has become a major issue in the last two decades. The number of sufferers has risen steadily in the decade in most countries, especially with the level and extent of research that has been carried out not only to understand the nature and complexity of the illness but also to cope with increased therapies for victims. People are literally losing their minds and are given to depression and all kinds of mental sicknesses. This is a dangerous trend. The bible says God has given us authority to trample upon snakes, scorpions and over all the power of the enemy and nothing shall be able to harm us (Luke 10:19). Also, Paul told Timothy that God has not “given us the spirit of fear, but of power, of love and of a sound mind” (2 Timothy 1:7). The scripture has also declared that we have the mind of Christ (1 Corinthians 2:16). The mind of Christ is the mind of complete surrender to the will of God (see Phillipians 2: 5)
4. You are symmetrically connected to God. You have an open heaven space; this connects you directly to heaven's throne room by a prayer line. You can always activate your open heaven space. David echoed this sentiment when he said “for my love (for God and Godly lifestyle) they became my adversaries; but I give myself unto prayer” (Psalm 109:4). The effectual and fervent prayer of the righteous man availeth much (James 5:16). In all things, the bible enjoins us, to pray without ceasing (1 Thessalonians 5:17). Our open heaven space is the space allotted to us by God that controls our divine destiny. Everyone has an allocated open heaven space that can be opened and closed by prayers of faith. When our open heaven space opens, there are releases and outpourings of blessings and graces.
5. Cultivate a disciplined lifestyle. Discipline is acquired through diligence. “Seest thou a man diligent in his business, he shall stand before Kings and not before mean men” (Proverbs 22:29). Hebrews 12:1-3 “Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds”. This scripture reminds me of my purpose and how to cope whenever I am facing challenging situations. The example of Jesus here is a very good one which the Bible is encouraging us to emulate. God knows we can endure the cross as long as we go by our Saviour's example. The future has always belonged to those who are disciplined. Those that are disciplined knows how to compete and compete in line with the rules (1 Corinthians 9:23-27). If you want to be disciplined, you will not engage in useless, aimless and unproductive endeavours. You will live your life purposefully. You will aim high and you will be pursuing noble ideals. Apostle Paul, writing to Timothy enjoin him to be strong and be discipline as “a good soldier” of Christ. The metaphor of a “good soldier” is very instructive, because a good soldier is noted for his understanding of warfare and high level of discipline, sense of duty, and absolute dedication and commitment all of which comes from his training . From the book of 2 Timothy 2:1-5, “Thou therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also. Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier. And if a man also strive for masteries, yet is he not crowned, except he strive lawfully. The husbandman that laboureth must be first partaker of the fruits.” Hebrews 12: 4 -11. Paul understood how to be disciplined. He wrote, “I keep my body under, (Living Translation – “I discipline my body”) so that when I have preached to others I will not become a castaway” (1 Corinthians 9:27). One way to endure afflictions is to always ask yourself this question: How can I use my current challenges and problems to strengthen myself for further service to God and to humanity? If you can sincerely answer that question and do what you promise yourself to do
6. Develop a positive mental attitude. “Count it all joy when you fall into diverse temptations” (James 1:2-4). “Counting it all joy” is about the learning to demonstrate a cheerful mien in the face of adversities without letting a sour mood dampen our spirit. It is about showing the devil that he has not got the last word about our situation. When I write about positive mental attitude, I am not referring to the worldly, carnal type, which encourages you to acknowledge the psychological strength of having a positive mental attitude without accepting the Lordship of Christ. That is hogwash as far believers are concerned. But positive mental attitude is not just about being “psyched up” but about being fully conscious that God is with us in our struggles; and there are many books out there that talks about positive mental attitude too, so we should be careful the kind of materials we are feeding our spirit. What the bible is asking us to do is that we rejoice in the knowledge that our sufferings are actually working for us a far more excellent “eternal weight of glory”. I am fascinated by what the scriptures declares in 2 Corinthians 4:17, “For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory”. This scripture makes it very clear that our afflictions, our troubles are momentary and are actually working for us; this means that whenever we having troubles and difficulties in life we just have to remember that those troubles are temporary and are at work - actually working for us; working on our behalf to produce something greater, more significant that would outweigh all the pains and stress that are caused by the troubles! I find this very profound.
7. Patience is something the Bible declare matter-of-factly that we need. In Hebrews 10:36 the bible says, “For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise”. The lack of patience is there reason many do not receive the promises of divine blessings. If we do not learn to be patient we shall miss out of what God wants to do in our lives. God is not going to allow an impatient man to inherit promises that requires a lot of equanimity and composure. Hebrews 6:11-12, declares what God desires: our patience! “And we desire that every one of you do shew the same diligence to the full assurance of hope unto the end:That ye be not slothful, but followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises”. What produces impatience? Diligence and Steadfastness. We are enjoined to “possess” our souls by being patient in Luke 21:19; “In your patience possess ye your souls”. Romans 8:24 -25 Our faith works well with hope and patience. Without patience hope can't work well.“For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for? But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it”. Tribulations and divine testings actually produces patience but we must allow patience to have its full course so that we do not truncate what God wants to do. Romans 5:3-4 “..but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; And patience, experience; and experience, hope.” From these words, it is crystal clear that our tribulations are training us to become more patient.
8. Studying God's word is something that Christians cannot play with. What better time to study God's word (and actually become more proficient at it) than when we are faced with trials. We learn to conquer by knowing and applying God's words. We become a terror to the kingdom of darkness the more of God's words that we know. When our Lord was tempted by the devil, He overcame him by the word. Indeed, we overcome not just “by the blood but by the WORD of their TESTIMONY and they loved their own lives unto death.” (Revelation 12:11) All things always work together for good for those who love God – who love His word and are the called according to His purpose. (Romans 8:28). Those who love God, will love His words!. Knowledge of God's word is essential for living a sanctified and obedient life to him. When we become addicted to the scriptures, we become very powerful in coping with the pressures that would make tribulations and trials unpleasant. My advice for anyone wanting to know how to study God's words is to start by reading the whole of Psalms 119. In 2 Timothy 2:15, we read: “Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed but rightly dividing the word of truth.” There is nothing more to be said upon a deep reflection on this verse: we must study to become divinely approved and to live an overcomer's life in all ramifications.
9. Employ the Holy Ghost support and aid in prayer. The effectual and fervent prayer of the righteous man always avails much (invaluable) and delivers much too, in value terms. I have seen the power of prayer and, one of the convictions that I have (and share with believers and others), is that you can never pray too hard or too much. Faith in prayer is important but there are many styles and methods of prayers. You should cultivate a style that suits you, but remember that the Bible enjoins us to “pray without ceasing”. The bible has a prescription for how to pray whenever we are clueless about what exactly we need to pray about. Romans 8:26, puts it like “ For we know what to pray for but the Holy Spirit helps our infirmities with groanings that cannot be uttered.” The Holy Spirit is our helper, teacher, guide and comforter. There is nothing that we need answers to that the spirit cannot help us deal or cope with.
10. No pain, No gain! As I end this, I would like to point out one universal truth in the parable of talents: God endowed us with talents so that we can become productive “workmen” who knows how to reap fruits and bring in prosperity. We learn from that parable that there is a divine mathematical formula that works in favour of those who are perceptive and diligent. Without faith, we understand that it is impossible to please God, for anyone that comes to God must believe that God exists and that He is a rewarder of those who “diligently” seek him (Hebrews 11:6). We cannot compromise that scripture anymore than we can expect to go to a workplace and claim salary for work/job not done. With God, one plus one does not equal two. It equals majority! Trials keeps us busy and if we purposefully seek God, and love Him our lives shall radiate forth more and more of His beauty and glory. God wants us to know that there are eternal rewards for our earthly existence and we must not only look forward to inheriting that heavenly reward but we must also be eager to enjoy earthly blessing. “There is no one who has left home(house) or brothers or sisters or mothers or fathers or children for the Christ's sake and for the gospel's sake that will not receive a hundredfold now (in this time, and dispensation) and in the age to come – eternal life” Mark 10:29-30.
“If you faint in the days of adversities, thy strength is small”(Proverbs 24:10). This scripture, without equivocation, declares that those who faint; those who give up too quickly, when undergoing trials and tribulations are made of less sterner stuff that those who endure to the end. You have to ask yourself that question: do I give up too easily; too quickly! Am I losing my strength in the days of adversities? Do you realise that whatever, you are going through is only momentary? (1 Corinthians 4:17). Please put your afflictions to work for you. You are made to outlast your troubles and pains. There is something inherently stronger in you than the situations you might be in at the moment. Draw strength from your inner man and the comfort of scriptures and let your faith rise to the occasion.
The prayer of David in Psalm 139 : 23 – 24 is instructive and I would like to end this write up by praying that prayer: “Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting (life).”