It's Only A Test To Try Your Faith!
by Jeanniene Lee
To have a TESTimony, you must endure a TEST. Revelation 12:11 boldly declares that we overcame the devil by the blood of the lamb and the word of our TESTimony. To continue to overcome, we must endure tests. Tests are simply opportunities to put our faith to work. "For our light affliction, which is but for a moment [temporary], worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory" (II Corinthians 4:17).
Temptations, tests and trials are temporary. They will pass, and we shall walk through them. Remember, we have God's covenant promise that though we walk through the valley of the shadow of death, we have no reason to fear because He is with us (Psalm 23:4).
Notice it said "we shall walk THROUGH" the valley! Beloved, God is not going to leave us in the valley nor abandon us during temptations, tests and trials. He will sustain us in the valley and will take us through to victory.
Psalm 23:4 states that it's "a valley of the shadow of death." It's NOT death, but has the appearance of death - the shadow of death. A shadow can't kill you, so why are you panicking? Don't panic, it's only a test to try your faith!
Every promise that God has declared unto man is recorded in the Bible. There is a condition, however, to receiving EVERY PROMISE that is in God's Word. Even receiving the free gift of salvation is conditional. You MUST BELIEVE in your heart and CONFESS WITH YOUR MOUTH that Jesus is the Son of God and that God raised Him from the dead. This is clear from reading Romans 10:9 and 10.
Oftentimes we become discouraged when we pray and ask God for something and then we don't SEE IT come to pass right away. Why do we get discouraged and give up before we actually see the manifestation of what we asked Him for? The answer to this question is in God's Word. Let's look at James 1:2-4.
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.
As I meditated on these verses over-and-over, God began to impart to me a VITAL TRUTH concerning why we oftentimes do not actually receive the manifestation of what we prayed and asked Him for.
Verse two states that we are to "count it joy when we fall into divers temptations." The word "temptations" actually means "testings." The Greek definition of the word means to have something "put to proof" by experiment or experience. Further, it means to examine, to scrutinize, to prove, to try, and to test. In other words, to put something on trial to see if it can stand up to the pressure of the test it is undergoing.
When new automobiles are manufactured, before they are released from the factory for sale, they are put through a series of rigorous tests. You may say they fall into "divers temptations." They undergo all types of adverse testings to see if they are able to withstand the pressure or hold up under "divers temptations" or different types of testings they are undergoing.
If that automobile, which is undergoing all those tests, begins to break down or experience malfunctions, the manufacturer then knows the specific areas which need "further perfecting" before that automobile is released to the public for sale.
What God began to impart to me, as 1 meditated on James 1:2-4, is that we are to count it joy when we begin to undergo testing - "fall into divers temptations." Divers temptations are all types of challenging situations and circumstances that come to TRY, put to the test, OUR FAITH.
Verse three contains a profound truth of vital importance to your life of living and walking by faith . . . "KNOWING THIS, that the trying of your faith worketh patience." Knowing what? Knowing this, that when you begin to experience all types of testings (divers temptations), your faith is being tried. Your faith is undergoing the "testing process."
Testing is the opportunity for the faith, you say you possess, to be actually put to the test and tried so that you can see for yourself if you really have faith or not. God knowing all things already knows whether or not you have faith or not. But do you know? Faith is more than just talk. If you have faith, your faith will stand up to ANY TEST!
Further, the "trying of [our] my faith worketh patience." When our faith is tested, we will either grow stronger in faith in that particular area (just like a muscle that is exercised or undergoes a work-out) or we will collapse under the pressure of that test which will let us know where we need to develop faith.
The testing of our faith also has other benefits. Testing develops patience. That word "patience" means "endurance and steadfastness." We haven't really understood the Bible definition of the word "patience." Patience is endurance, steadfastness and constancy!
In other words when you stand your ground during testing, it strengthens your faith. Your faith grows because it has undergone a "work-out." Out of that testing process you learn to remain steadfast and constant no matter what. You learn to endure and not give in. ARE YOU GETTING THE REVELATION?
Now you can see clearly what James 1:4 is saying. . ."But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing." You mature when you remain constant during testing, allowing your faith to be strengthened and to grow.
Undergoing and enduring testings brings you to maturity. This is the place where your faith is strong enough to ask God for what you desire from Him, and to patiently wait until it manifests . . . "that ye may be perfect and entire, WANTING NOTHING."
Why will you want nothing? Because you will receive from God EVERY TIME you ask Him. Why? Because you will ask in faith and stand in faith until it comes; and, we know that faith pleases God and activates God's hand on our behalf.
6 But without faith it is impossible to please [God] Him . . .
Hebrews 11:1 (Amplified)
1 Now faith is the assurance (the confirmation, the title deed) of the things [we] hope for, being the proof of the things [we] do not see and the conviction of their reality [faith perceiving as real fact what is not revealed to the senses].
Let's look at James 1:5, and see what is being said there as it relates to James 1:2-4. . .
"If any man lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him."
What is being said here is if any man lack wisdom (wisdom is the ability to make the Word of God produce results), let him ask God. Let him ask God where he is lacking the ability (lacking in faith) to make the Word work for him.
We know that "without faith it is IMPOSSIBLE TO PLEASE [GOD] HIM." (Hebrews 11:6) Dear reader, this is another vital truth that you must grasp and fully understand in order to be successful in your life of living by faith.
38 Now the just shall live by faith ...
4 ... the just shall live by his faith.
Romans 10:17 tells us exactly how we get and develop faith . . .
"So then FAITH COMETH BY HEARING, AND HEARING BY THE WORD OF GOD."
If you lack the ability to make the Word of God produce results, it's because you LACK THE FAITH. THE WORD OF GOD WILL ONLY PRODUCE WHAT IT SAYS IT WILL WHEN FAITH IS APPLIED! It doesn't work any other way.
Now let's look at another vital truth that is a partner to living by faith. We must have and exercise "patience." Faith and patience work hand-in-hand. Without patience, faith will not produce the desired results.
12 That ye be not slothful but followers of them who through faith AND patience inherit the promises of God.
3 ... the trying of your faith worketh patience.
The word "patience" means "endurance and steadfastness." The Bible definition of the word "patience," as referenced in James 1:3, is from the Greek which means cheerful or hopeful endurance, constancy, enduring, patient continuance, patient waiting.
Further, the word "patience" means to remain, to undergo, to bear trials, to have fortitude, to persevere, to abide, to endure, to take patiently.
In other words, patience means to endure the testing of your faith without giving in or giving up. You must remain constant and unchanged all during the testing process.
Patience only grows when undergoing a trial or when faith is being tested - ". . . the trying of your faith worketh patience" (James 1:3). Patience perfects Christian character - "But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing" (James 1:4).
Hebrews 10:35-36, 38
35 Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompense of reward.
36 For ye have need of patience. that, after ye have done the will of
God [the will of God is to live by faith], ye might receive the promise. 38 Now the just shall live by faith . . .
Hebrews 10:22-23 boldly declares that we are to ". . . draw near [to God] with a true heart in FULL ASSURANCE OF FAITH, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience [an evil conscience is anything contrary to God's Word and ways; therefore fear is evil for fear is the opposite of faith], and our bodies washed with pure water. Let us HOLD FAST THE PROFESSION OF OUR FAITH WITHOUT WAVERING [or doubting]; (for He is faithful that promised)."
Dear reader, remember that God ]S NOT a liar! What He has declared in His covenant to you, He will do.
Numbers 23:19 19
God IS NOT a man that He should lie; neither the son of man, that He should repent: hath He said, and shall He not do it? Or hath He spoken, and shall He not make it good?
I encourage you to read the entire that chapter of Hebrews that talks specifically about "faith" and about men and women who "lived by faith." As you read this chapter, I pray that God will reveal to you the following:
1) The areas within your life where you have developed faith.
2) The areas within your life where your faith needs to be strengthened and further developed.
3) And the areas in which you have not developed faith at all.
The only way you can make the Word of God produce results is that you MUST HAVE FAITH, and faith comes by hearing the Word of God.
Faith does not come by you praying and asking God for it.
In the beginning of your walk as a new born Christian, God dealt to you the measure of faith necessary to start your walk with Him - ". . . God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith" (Romans 12:3).
We must build upon that measure allotted; and, the only way we do that is by putting our faith to work, exercising our faith muscle, and by hearing and meditating upon God's Word. You must get into the Bible and find specific scriptures, in the specific areas where you know you need to develop your faith in, and you must meditate upon them DAY AND NIGHT like Joshua 1:8 exhorts us to do.
If you don't do this, when testing comes, and it will come, you will not have the faith to stand. The faith you thought you had will collapse under the pressure of the test. Then you will be discouraged and give up before you receive the manifestation of what you're believing God for. This causes you to doubt and distrust God.
Remember the fulfillment of God's covenant promises to you are contingent upon your participation to DO YOUR PART - ". . . for then [after you have spoken the Word, meditated upon the Word and been a doer of the Word] thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success" (Joshua 1:8).
It's through your faith and your patience that you will actually possess the promises of God. So don't panic when trials come. Remember, it's only a test to try your faith.
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