Kingdom Greetings, Brethren. I am excited for another privilege the LORD has given me to share the Word with you. Thank you so much for being a committed reader of this blog. God bless you!
1 Peter 1:7 KJV
That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:
Trials of Faith is what every genuine Christian must experience. It's part and parcel of our walk with the LORD. If we're not tested and proven, we won't grow and more will not be entrusted to us. Under this topic we'll treat Trials of Faith separately as Tests of Faith and Tribulations. Don't forget to revisit for Part Two.
Test of Faith
One of the tests every true child of God must go through is the test of faith. But one may ask, "Why do the LORD have to test my faith?" The reason goes way beyond determining its quality, suitability and performance. We have a good Father. We must know that whatever He allows us go through, He does so out of His good will. He desires to bring our faith to its very best because it is a necessity!
Right after we get saved, we can not say that we always have much faith. For me it was a struggle. Even though we assume we have faith, situations will come to prove us wrong.
Why God Tests our Faith
In God's sight, our faith often requires urgent upgrade after our salvation. Mine as at then would not be able to move a grain of sand off the Earth, talk less of moving a mountain. I needed an urgent upgrade!
We can recall that the LORD said that we only need to have faith that is as small as a mustard seed and we will be able to command mountains to move. But let's not get too excited yet, because the average Christian's faith isn't even close to that amount.
The LORD always rebuked His Disciples for having little faith, which tells us that their faith wasn't up to the size of a mustard seed. The 70 Disciples had once gone out and returned with a beautiful report; that even demons were subject to them in His Name. That required very tiny amount of faith. Another fellow they could not recognize was also casting out devils using the name of Jesus, whom they wanted to resist but got rebuked by Jesus.
In another instance, a lunatic with a stronger demon was brought to the Disciples and they couldn't cast out the devil. When the report came to the LORD, His response was that their faith was insufficient... and yes, He mentioned a mustard seed. That's reaffirms that the mustard seed size of faith is only small in God's sight.
Matthew 17:14-20 KJV
And when they were come to the multitude, there came to him a certain man, kneeling down to him, and saying,  Lord, have mercy on my son: for he is lunatick, and sore vexed: for ofttimes he falleth into the fire, and oft into the water.  And I brought him to thy disciples, and they could not cure him.  Then Jesus answered and said, O faithless and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you? how long shall I suffer you? bring him hither to me.  And Jesus rebuked the devil; and he departed out of him: and the child was cured from that very hour.  Then came the disciples to Jesus apart, and said, Why could not we cast him out?  And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.
Little faith in God's eyes isn't as little as we think. The little faith we know can not make the impossible possible, therefore we need great faith!
Our faith must get tested, and whether we pass the test or not, when it's tested, it will get strengthened and increased. I'm reminded of Abraham; how the LORD asked him to sacrifice his only son, Isaac. It's great news that he passed the test. And his faith never remained at the same level after that encounter with the LORD.
The test of our faith is geared towards dismantling every bit of confidence we have in ourselves or our abilities.
Proverbs 3:5 KJV
Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.
Let's assume that the disciples already gained so much self-confidence after their initial evangelism because demons were subject to them in His Name. With that same self-confidence they approached the lunatic hoping to see the same result, but the reverse was the case.
Maybe some of us have grown spiritually, have witnessed mighty miracles and have gained self-confidence without our knowledge. The LORD will put us through tests that will dismantle our self-confidence, even in the amount of faith we presently have. We're only required to have faith in the LORD, not confidence in the amount of faith we have to make things happen. Our sufficiency is in Him alone, not in our abilities!
For some who are fearful, the LORD is good at putting them in the mist of what they fear so that their faith will get activated, put to use and increased. Fear and Doubt are two sides of the same coin. The test of our faith is also geared towards getting rid of both.
The disciples being in the boat at night and seeing Jesus walk on water were already filled with fear thinking He was a ghost. Peter's fear, coupled with doubt pushed him to prove if that was truly Jesus. The LORD on the other hand seized the opportunity to test and increase his faith.
Matthew 14:26-31 KJV
And when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, It is a spirit; and they cried out for fear.  But straightway Jesus spake unto them, saying, Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid.  And Peter answered him and said, Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water.  And he said, Come. And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus.  But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me.  And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?
The LORD will sometimes let us go through storms, fearful storms. It's all meant to build our faith. It's better if we can see and keep our focus on Him in the midst of those storms because He is always there watching our reaction and will always come to our rescue.
I was once as fearful as Peter. I think the LORD had to get rid of that fear in me in a strange way and taught me to put faith to use. That was through this particular dream that repeated itself three times on three different nights:
In each of the dreams I saw myself trying to pass through this dark long corridor which was filled with demonic presence and strange voices. The demons were stretching out their hands from every place on the wall towards me, trying to get hold of me. The only thing that scared them away a bit while I walked through was the torchlight I held. On almost getting to the middle of the corridor they would make the torchlight go off, I don't know how. Efforts to put the torch back On proved abortive. The switch would stopped working. That's when I came face to face with fear... haha! Then a voice would tell me, "Use Faith". I'd have to summon the courage right there to put fear aside, then command the torchlight to be put On in the Name of Jesus and it always happened instantly!
This dream came thrice. At the end of the day, fear was nowhere to be found in me anymore and my faith was increased.
There are many other things the LORD has put me through to increase my faith.
Even after we think we've had much faith, the LORD will keep putting us through more tests to increase of faith. He will let us go through situations that are difficult to believe He'll intervene only for Him to intervene when all hope is almost lost. Remember the Disciples in the mist of the storm with the LORD sleeping in the lower chamber of the ship. He is always there, we must not fear but call on Him with faith and He'll answer.
From my little experiences with the LORD, what I see is that the major goal of the test of our faith is to enable us grow to be more dependent and confident on God Almighty alone, not on man or our abilities!
It is faith that makes us overcomers!
1 John 5:4-5 KJV
For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.  Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?
We need faith to trample on the works of darkness. We need it to be effective in our ministry. We need faith to receive answers to our prayers(Matthew 21:22). We need faith to scale through the daily challenges of life. We need faith to please God, because without faith it is impossible to please Him! (Hebrews 11:6).
God is Spirit, being a Christian is spiritual. Every ministry service, be it prayer, worship, preaching etc that does not proceed out of faith is sin! (Romans 14:23).
Ever since I realised the importance of having great faith, like the Apostles, one of my daily prayer points has been that the LORD increases my faith. That should also become one of your prayer points. Amen!
Now your turn:
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