The Trial of your Faith
Why I'm making this page on the trial of your faith:
I'm making this lens about the trial of your faith first of all as a follow up to my hub on "Faith For Daily Living" listed below, but mainly because in life, the faith that we have is often put to the test either by Satan, as with Job, or circumstances which come to everyone, both of which are allowed by God, or sometimes even initiated directly by God himself as in the case of Abraham. Satan had to go to God to get permission to test Job. Sometimes in the permissive will of God circumstances happen in the world which are a themselves a test. But in the case of Abraham, known as the "father of the faithful," the test was initiated by God himself. And it was quite a test. More on Abraham's test in a moment, but first, if you haven't checked out my lens on Faith for daily living, you may want to do so (below), then come back here and check out some books on the testing of faith, or trials of faith in general.
- Faith for Daily Living
The same faith which assures our eternal destiny should characterize the life of every believer--that just as we have trusted Him for salvation, we should trust Him for every area of out lives.
The testing of our faith
When we seek to live by faith daily, sooner or later, that faith will be tested. Check out the powerful testimony of one who had his faith sorely tested, listed below:
The fruit of Abraham's faith
"AND IT CAME TO PASS AFTERTHESE THINGS THAT GOD DID TEST ABRAHAM.."(Gen.22:1)
..After what things? After God had made the covenant with Abraham, promising him that his seed would be as the sand of the sea and the stars of the sky (Gen.15), after Abraham had tried to accomplish God's purpose on his own and help God out by going into his handmaiden and conceiving Ishmael, after God gave Abraham the sign of circumcision (Gen,17) and even after Abraham had lied about his wife to Abimelech (Gen.20.), and after Isaac was finally born (Gen.21).
After all those years, now finally Abraham is seeing the fruit of the faith that he had, namely his own son from his own loins, namely Isaac.
The object of Abraham's faith
The Object of Abraham's faith was God--the God who had told him to move and had made the covenant with him. Gen.15:6 tells us that Abraham believed in the Lord and it was counted to him for righteousness. He believed not so much in the promise as in the God who had made the promise. Now this same God tests Abraham's faith by telling him to go and offer Isaac as sacrifice, and immediately Abraham obeys. Why after two great lapses of faith (one with Hagar and the other with Abimelech, was Abraham now able to face this extreme test and pass it? I believe the answer lies in the fact of the covenant and the sign of the covenant as well as the fact that Abraham had learned from his past mistakes. God had confirmed His promise to Abraham by "cutting" a covenant (making a blood covenant) and also giving Abraham the covenant sign of circumcision. Now Abraham carried about in his body a reminder of his relationship to the covenant keeping God and that God would never break his covenant. So as Ironic as it may have seemed to him when God told him to take his only son Isaac, the son of promise, and offer him as a sacrifice, Abraham knew that somehow God would still keep His covenant promise. The writer of Hebrews says that he believed God could raise him up from the dead (Hebrews 11:17-19).
In the book of Galatians, chapter 3, Paul tells us that we are heirs of that same covenant, the covenant of promise. Jesus referred to it on the night before His death, in Luke 22:20, as "the new covenant in my blood." As believers in Jesus, we are in covenant relationship with Him. Now Baptism has replaced circumcision as the seal of the covenant (Col.2:12) and communion is it's reminder. As covenant people we need never doubt our relationship with our loving Savior.
The book of James also talks about trials and he tells us in chapter 1: verses 3-4 to "Count it all joy when we fall into various trials, knowing that the our trials are from God and that trial of your faith produces patience." The resource below further explores James's take on the subject. This study on the Epistle of James includes a study guide. It isn't for the faint-hearted, but for thinkers who want to come face to face real life in the school of Christ.
The faith of Abraham:
The Bible gives Abraham as the prime example of faith. In Chapter4 of Romans, Paul refers to him as "Abraham, our father," and goes on to show that he was justified by his faith alone. The life of Abraham gives us a prime example of what it is to have faith in an unseen God and to live by that faith as the book listed below shows. Allow me to quote from the book's back cover. "Both Jews and Arabs claim Abraham as their father - Jews through Isaac, the son of promise, and the Arabs through Ismael. Abraham is a towering figure in the spiritual history of the Old Testament - the only person in the Bible to be called "the friend of God." Abraham was called out of paganism to serve the one true God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Unfortunately, there was no script for him to follow. By stumbles and starts, Abraham learned what it means to believe instead of doubt - to trust instead of fear. He is the father of two kinds of faith - saving faith and sanctifying faith - both of which the Christian must possess. Saving faith takes us to heaven while sanctifying faith changes us on the way. And Abraham is the spiritual model for both, and the father of all who believe the promise of God. doubt, have faith instead of fear, and succeed instead of fail. He is the father of two kinds of faith - saving faith and sanctifying faith - both of which the Christian must possess. Saving faith takes us to heaven while sanctifying faith changes us on the way. And Abraham is the spiritual model for both, and the father of all who believe the promise of God. In Learning to Live by Faith, Volume 1, Dr. David Jeremiah explores the beginning and development of Abraham's faith. Following the patriarch's path will give today's Christian a greater appreciation of the patience and promises of God. Become a 'friend of the friend of God' and you will develop your own ability to walk by faith."
The testing of Abraham's faith: And Abraham...took the knife to slay his son. - AND THE ANGEL OF THE LORD CALLED TO HIM OUT OF HEAVEN:
Abraham passed the test. Will we?
"Do not lay your hand on the lad...for now I know that you fear God.. And Abraham saw a ram caught in a bush and offered it up in the stead of his son."
Abraham passed the test. And the writer of Hebrews further says that he received Isaac back from the dead in a figure or a type, this being a type of the death and resurrection of Jesus.
Our faith may be tried in similar ways to that of Abraham's today. We may find ourselves in circumstances and situations which seem entirely opposite of God's revealed purpose for our lives, and yet the Lord says "wait on me." Do we question God and try to help him out as Abraham did previously? Or do we trust that God knows what He's doing? Will you pass your test?
The trial of our faith:
Of course God doesn't usually speak in such audible voices today as he did then, but what if He did speak to you and you knew it was him and He told us to do something which seemed at cross purposes with his revealed will as we understand it? He does speak in several ways today. He speaks through His word. He speaks through circumstances. He speaks through other believers. He also speaks through His Holy Spirit, but this one may be a little hard to determine for certain that it is him, so we need to test it with the other three.
Sometimes our circumstances are trials in and of themselves. I have already quotd James 1:3-4 ("Count it all joy when we fall into various trials, knowing that the trial of your faith produces patience.") In additon, Peter says in IPeter 1:7 that the trial of our faith is much more precious than gold which perishes. though tried with fire.." Job said "When He has tried me, I shall come forth as gold." So again, I ask, Will you pass the test? Check out the resource below for practical help in doing so.
The purpose of our trials:
Of course, it would help if we could be made to understand the purpose of our trials. Di you ever ask God "Why?" I have. When we are in midst of a particularly trying trial, it may be hard to see the purpose. Yet, scripture has an answer for us, if we will read and accept it. In Romans 5:1-5, after mentioning the peace we have with God through justification, Paul immediately goes on to talk about trials and gives a whole list of things which they accomplish in our lives. The first is patience (or endurance-the ability to remain under our circumstances. Then comes experience (so that we will be able to help others), divine character and hope (or expectation of a good result).
Abraham passed the test. Will you?
As a reminder, get this beautiful "Abrahams Faith" Poster
Canvas Transfer of Abraham Sacrificing Isaac by Domenichino.Total Size : 24.63 inches width by 26.00 inches height.Ready to hang Transfer Stretched on Canvas with 3/4 inch deep bars, with Gallery Wrap method (image wraps around edge, and continues back toward the wall). This is the Highest Quality Art Print Reproduction of the Original Work. OnlineWall is the worlds best quality art print, poster and framing store with over 25 years custom framing experience our quality of art prints cannot be beat. This beautiful repesentation of the scene will be a great addition to your livingroom or den and can serve as a grafic reminder of the need to pass failth's trial.
We need to keep our faith strong daily, so that when the tests come, wer're ready. - Check out these links:
Exercising fatih in trials through prayer
I believe you CAN give me what I'm asking for.
I'm just not sure you will
I know you've told me
that you always have my best interests
in your heart,
and that of I only trust you
everything will work out
to a solution that's even better than the best thing I could choose
But I'm having a hard time FEELING that trust.
I can't see what you're up to,
but, I do believe in you.
Lord, I'm turning this situation over to you
in faith that you will fix it.
And, I'm thanking you in advance
for working out all the details
even though I sure don't see how you're going to do it.
Lord help me always to trust you.
The trial of Billy Graham's faith:
When we think of evangelist Billy Graham, we think of him as a great man of faith. But there was a time in this man of God's life when his faith wa severely tested. Read about it in the book listed below:
Find more about this and other Bible related topics:
"The trial of your faith" is listed in:
Christ Centered Web - Directory and in Access By Faith and in Sermons Outlines, Free Pentecostal Bible Studies, Topical Sermons, Podcasts - Sowing Seeds of faith by Ken Birks.