TESTS – WE ARE TESTED TO SHOW OFF OUR FAITH

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TESTS – WE ARE TESTED TO SHOW OFF OUR FAITH

In Parts One and Two, we have seen how much your loving Heavenly Father does not want you to go through testing and trials, and how much He will hedge you, your family and all that is yours, to protect you and provide you with a way of escape so that you will be able to bear the trial.

Now we must then confront the elephant in the room. Since we already have Jesus in our hearts, so that the devil no longer has place to enter, how is it that we can still be tested? Beloved, I have good news for you. For you now, testing no longer is a case of Satan taking hold of you. Instead, testing now becomes a platform for your Father to show you off!

“Simon, Simon (Peter), listen! Satan has asked excessively that [all of] you be given up to him [out of the power and keeping of God], that he might sift [all of] you like grain,” Luke 22:31 [AMPC]

Notice that Satan actually asked for all of the disciples to be given over? So why is it that only Peter was given? That is because Jesus knew that Peter would make it, for He said,

“But I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail; and when you have returned to Me, strengthen your brethren.” Luke 22:32

‘When’ Peter has returned to Jesus, not ‘If’. That shows how much confidence Jesus had in Peter. Let us look at another example.

Just as Abraham was about to plunge the knife into Isaac to kill him, God stopped Abraham and said,

“And He said, “Do not lay your hand on the lad, or do anything to him; for now I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your son, your only son, from Me.”” Genesis 22:12

People often take this passage of scripture and call this God testing Abraham, to see of what mettle Abraham was made of. But we forget that before the attempted sacrifice, this happened,

“Then He brought him outside and said, “Look now toward heaven, and count the stars if you are able to number them.” And He said to him, “So shall your descendants be.”
And he believed in the Lord, and He accounted it to him for righteousness.” Genesis 15:5-6

Did the omniscient God really not know what kind of person Abraham really was? If He did not know, how could He have called Him righteous even before the test? And notice why Abraham was considered righteous? Yes, because he believed God. That is all. Not because Abraham did anything for God, not because Abraham gave anything to God, but only because Abraham believed God. For it is written,

“Sacrifice and offering You did not desire;
My ears You have opened.
Burnt offering and sin offering You did not require.” Psalm 40:6

Our Father is not interested in what you can do for Him or what you can give Him. For His is all things and from Him come all things, as it is written,

“I will not take a bull from your house,
Nor goats out of your folds.
For every beast of the forest is Mine,
And the cattle on a thousand hills.
I know all the birds of the mountains,
And the wild beasts of the field are Mine.
If I were hungry, I would not tell you;
For the world is Mine, and all its fullness.” Psalm 50:9-12

‘What do you give a man who has everything?’ as was so famously asked by the Baroness Schraeder in The Sound of Music. So too, what do you give a God who created everything? Beloved, your Father is not interested in testing you by taking anything from you. Especially considering that He was the one who created us.

“For He knows our frame;
He remembers that we are dust.” Psalm 103:14

So He knows that our abilities are limited. Therefore, naturally, He knew of what mettle Abraham was made. He created Him. There was really nothing else to prove, so why make Abraham sacrifice Isaac?

Remember how God introduced Himself to Moses?

““I am the God of your father—the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.” And Moses hid his face, for he was afraid to look upon God.” Exodus 3:6

So if He was going to use Abraham’s name to identify Himself, He needs Abraham to have some credibility with the rest of his fellow man. So He uses the sacrifice of Isaac, a mirror of Himself sacrificing His precious Son Jesus, to give Abraham credit. For the apostle Peter says,

“So that [the genuineness] of your faith may be tested, [your faith] which is infinitely more precious than the perishable gold which is tested and purified by fire. [This proving of your faith is intended] to redound to [your] praise and glory and honor when Jesus Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One) is revealed.” 1 Peter 1:7 [AMPC]

God did not need to know how good Abraham was. He already knew. But we did not. We needed to see for ourselves so that we can view Abraham with some credibility when our Father uses Abraham’s name to identify Himself. So likewise, when we go through tests, it is there so that when it is finally over, it will redound to our praise and glory and honor when Jesus is revealed in our lives. For beloved, remember,

“Pure gold put in the fire comes out of it proved pure; genuine faith put through this suffering comes out proved genuine. When Jesus wraps this all up, it’s your faith, not your gold, that God will have on display as evidence of his victory.” 1 Peter 1:7 [MSG]

Tests and trials do not come from God. God does not delight to see you suffer. It goes against His very purpose and nature. But instead, those things which Satan purposed to harm you, God uses to put your faith in Him on display, but not to show the world how good God is, instead, He wants to show the world how faithful you have been.

And beloved, notice more so that it is not you who will get you out of your troubles, Jesus is the one who will ‘wrap it all up’. So Jesus pulls you out of the mess you got yourself into but puts your faith, not His might, on display. What a generous Father we have.

And beloved, He does not allow just anyone to go through these tests; He only lets those He KNOWS will make it.

So beloved, are you starting to look at your trials with a different lens now?

“Beloved, do not be amazed and bewildered at the fiery ordeal which is taking place to test your quality, as though something strange (unusual and alien to you and your position) were befalling you.
But insofar as you are sharing Christ’s sufferings, rejoice, so that when His glory [full of radiance and splendor] is revealed, you may also rejoice with triumph [exultantly].
If you are censured and suffer abuse [because you bear] the name of Christ, blessed [are you—happy, fortunate, to be envied, with life-joy, and satisfaction in God’s favor and salvation, regardless of your outward condition], because the Spirit of glory, the Spirit of God, is resting upon you. On their part He is blasphemed, but on your part He is glorified.” 1 Peter 4:12-14 [AMPC]

Yes, if you are going through a fiery ordeal now, know that it is because your Heavenly Father is putting on display your faith, which He knows will not fail, for He has hedged you on every side, around your family and all that you own. Also, know that Jesus is working to wrap it all up and as He is wrapping it up, blessed are you because you are envied for you have God’s favor and salvation resting upon you.

So beloved, if you are tested, you are special. Trust Him and let your Heavenly Father put your faith on display, so that when it is all over, it will redound to your praise and glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed in your life.

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