Summary: God often puts us through various tests/trials to grow our faith in Him.
Spending Time In The Furnace
George Muller once said: “God likes to test the faith of His children in order to make them stronger so that they can eventually be winners! Yes, persecution, trials and tests, even sometimes suffering defeat, are spiritual food for our faith and helps us to grow into spiritual giants!”
Even God's own Son passed His test with flying colours and is our perfect example of obedience,…even in the most severe trials and tests!
This is what is said about Christ in Hebrews 5v8-9, “Even though Jesus was God's Son, He learned obedience from the things He suffered. In this way, God qualified Him as a perfect High Priest, and He became the source of eternal salvation for all those who obey Him.” (NLT).
“Should we expect anything less then?”
…and that’s what I want to talk about this morning,…spending time in the furnace of sufferings.
God says that we will go through trials and tests.
You know,…so often we forget that it’s tough to proclaim the Gospel,…- its tough extending the Kingdom of God,…- handle problems,…- heal the sick and free the sinner from bondages.
…and this is often very tiring.
…but if we just look at life in general,…It’s tough when the finances run out.
It’s tough when we have no job.
Its tough when we can’t send the kids to study further after school.
Its tough when the food on the table is running low.
Its tough when you have to deal with a life threatening illness all the time.
Its tough when a lifelong marriage breaks up.
That’s when life feels like it’s getting too much to handle sometimes.
That’s when we feel as if we’re in a race on foot against fast running horses.
“Ever felt like that?”
You just want to stop the world and get off.
…but that’s often part of the testing of our faith God says.
It’s often part of God’s way of building our character through hard times.
Here’s what God says about it in Romans 5v3-5, “We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because He has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with His love.” (NLT).
Look at the connection between our trials and tests and God’s love!
You know,…it only takes a short time on the educational ladder before a first grader realizes that testing is a normal part of life in school.
After three or four weeks,…they’re starting to get the hang of how life works in first grade.
A year or three later they have already experienced a full menu of tests: arithmetic, spelling, geography, etc.
As a result,…very young children are no longer surprised when they encounter a test or examination.
They have come to realize that tests are normal and expected as part of climbing the educational ladder.