Have you ever been in a situation where your faith has been tested? Well, I have on numerous occasions. After being tried, I now know it was good that I was afflicted in order for me to know His statues. In this posting I share with you how. A couple of years ago I was afflicted with a few thyroid nodules. While hearing the diagnosis I did not fear but I remained steadfast on His promises. My journey has beared witness of Psalms 138:8, “The LORD will perfect that which concerneth me: thy mercy, O LORD, endureth for ever, forsake not the works of thine own hands.” Although we will never be perfect, I can attest to Phillipians 1:5, “For of this I am confident, that He who has begun a good work within you will go on to perfect it in preparation for the day of Jesus Christ.”
When we take on a project, we want it to look its best. We want it to be a representation of us. That is what God wants for His children. He wants us to be like Him and because of that He will forever do a work in us.
Circumstances and situations will come for our well-being. Let’s think back on the children of Israel’s journey in the wilderness. Their faith and allegiance to God were tested many times. Deuteronomy 8:1 tells us, “Remember how the LORD your God led you through the wilderness for these forty years, humbling you and testing you to prove your character, and to find out whether or not you would obey his commands.” Trials will find us. It is easy to honor Him in praise when things are going well, but God knows our intentions, even when our lips and praises are proclaiming His sovereignty. So yes, our faith will be tested, but it is for our own well-being.
In Psalms 119:71, the writer marveled at the afflictions when he said, “It was good that I have been afflicted so that I would know your statutes.” One might wonder how can afflictions be good? Well, let’s think back to our childhood. Many times our parents have given instructions and warnings. Some of them we have taken heed to, and some we just did what we wanted to do. More often than not, it wasn’t until we were punished that we took heed to our parents. Like a child who may have been warned of a hot surface, but didn’t take heed to the warning and touched the surface. The burning from the heat has now taught a lesson like the burn of affliction. This now has increased the faith that the child has in the wisdom of the parents.
I wavered, but I wouldn’t say it was intentional. I believe situations and circumstances can cause us to sometime waiver. Let’s think back to Adam and Eve for example, they knew the instructions.
The serpent came to Eve. Now as clever as the serpent was, I would venture to say that he knew that if he had approach the Adam and Eve together, the fight would have been harder. So, let’s say he came when she most vulnerable. It’s when we are in the most vulnerable state that we are most susceptible to attacks. Eve knew the truth. He started by planting a seed of doubt in what she knew, which caused her to act on what the serpent presented to her. It is good to have support. It’s good to have people that we can call upon for prayer and encouragement, but a day will come when it will seem as if you are all alone. You have to be fully armored to stand against the wiles of the devil. We are going to have to be like David and declare,” Thy word have I hidden in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.”
It is times like these that we have to have The Word in us. “Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.” 2 Corinthians 10:5
Regardless of what we encounter in this life and despite how it feels let us be encouraged by, James 1;2-4 “Consider it pure joy, my brothers, when you encounter trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Allow perseverance to finish its work, so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” Peter 1:7, tells me why, “so that the authenticity of your faith–more precious than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire may result in praise, glory, and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.”
I can testify of His faithfulness as Jehovah Rapha, the one that heals. He took the chastisement for my healing. I can join with Job because it was a time when I just couldn’t understand why. Why would He allow me to get to this point and allow this to happen. There were times when I felt like I was forsaken. I couldn’t understand why. In times past when I called on His name He was there. When I couldn’t see my way, He made a way. In the darkest of situations, He was light to my path so I just could not understand why. Oh but I can say like Job now, “But he knoweth my way, and has tried me as gold that passeth through the fire.”
When we are being tried, it’s not going to be comfortable. Imagine someone being held over a blazing fire. Our first reaction would be to avoid the fire but like gold if we come out before time, we won’t be in our purest state. Let Him complete the work. Let’s honor Him even in our trials.
I leave with you Ephesians 6;10″Finally, be strong in the Lord, relying on his mighty strength.”