When Faith is Tested
Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. (James 1:2-4)
Have you noticed how much easier it is to see faith tested in others than in yourself? And how much easier it is to stand with others in their difficulties than to stand in your own? But the time inevitably comes when it is our turn to face the challenges and tests of life. Then how do we react when God tests our faith, and when trusting Him seems to be the last thing that we want to do? It is at such times that we need to remember two key promises from God’s word.
The first promise is that God tests us, not because He doesn’t love us, but because He does. Trials and tests prove that "God is treating you as sons" (Hebrews 12:7). God wants us to grow - and to grow up. Just as a young sapling grows into a sturdy mature tree by putting down roots, growing in the face of the wind and rain, so God wants His people to grow, putting their roots down into Him.
The second promise is that God won’t test us beyond what we can bear. Being asked to offer up his son wasn’t the only test of Abraham’s faith, but it was certainly the most stretching. Yet because Abraham had trusted God over many years, he was now ready for such a test. God’s tests are always appropriate to the stage where we are at in our journey of faith; He never stretches us beyond what He knows we can carry.
If you are going through a difficult, challenging and testing time at this moment, remember these two promises And above all, remember that God is with you today in all that you face, wanting to work through everything for your good.
No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it. (1Corinthians 10:13)
Copyright © 2017 Martin Manser and Mike Beaumont