Life as we know it is never always smooth sailing. There are always pains and challenges we must face. Life is after all a mixture of the sweet and bitter that somehow works together to bring us balance and make us better. We may know people, perhaps yet youthful who have led sheltered lifestyles and have never faced difficulty. Perhaps such people are blessed in a way but we also know that the character of such a person has never been tested. In times of adversity, we cannot be certain if they would pull through. There is the old adage that says what doesn't break us will only makes us stronger and it would not be an adage if there weren't truth in it. Soldiers in training are put through rigorous trials where they are shoved into situations where they will literally fear for their lives. Their resolve, their wills are pushed to the limits and then some more. The soldier that gets through the training learns to handle the fear of death and perform despite the most dreadful and frightening of circumstances. The training prepares them through a series of tests so the military would know that the soldier is battle ready. When we buy an appliance for our kitchens, plug it in and flip the switch - we expect it to work. And it should because it has been tested. Every component has been tested to meet defined standards so it would serve its purpose and perform as expected. There is so much in the Bible that describes the above processes. Analogies of clay being shaped (Jeremiah 18), refining fire (Zechariah 13:9), sliver purified (Psalm 66:10) and vessels being prepared for every good work (2 Timothy 2:21) come to mind. We do get tested, sometimes painfully. In fact, it is necessary and it would be rather odd if we never face trials. I would not trust a Christian who has not been through adversity and only speaks of dreamy perfection in their lives. Something is wrong there. That's fake. The Bible is clear that trials and difficulties are simply part and parcel of life. Every test in our lives is really an opportunity for advancement. We have to go through a test before we can get to the next level. Tests prepare us spiritually and readies us for His purposes. Our tests are our testimonies and the good news is that God will not put us through a test He doesn't expect us to pass (1 Corinthians 10:13). When we get through the test we can even help others through the same (2 Corinthians 1:4). If we can see the hope behind every adversity - that it is an opportunity for the proofing of our character; that it is a step-up waiting for us - we would count it as joy (James 1:2). James shares with us that the trials of life is really a testing of our faith that produces patience. With patience perfecting us, we grow spiritually till we are complete and lacking nothing. I pray we all find this spiritual prosperity of "lacking nothing". Tough as the tests you are going through may be, do not weary and do not lose hope. God means for you to pass the test and step up into more Christlikeness. I say, let's behold the glory of transformation...
My Friend! It is good to see a blog by you for your blogs always bless me greatly!
I have said this before, but I will say it again for I never tire of saying it. I remember back in the spring of 2008 when I came online during the most difficult night I had during chemo treatment. Damaged nerves were misfiring due to a chemo drug called Taxol and I was in nearly unbearable pain. There is nothing they can do for this "phantom pain" for it is not "real". You heard my "cry" in cyberspace and told me to keep on clinging to God and to remember... my testimony was being written at that very moment. In the years since, I have never forgotten your words and I have shared them with others who are going through "trials".
God did not promise to keep us out of the fire... but He promised we would not be burned. He did not promise to keep us out of the flood but He did promise He would bring us through it. When I hear the Word of God, whether I am reading it or hearing it from the pulpit or someone else, I [b]learn[/b] about God's love, mercy, grace and His power to deliver us from evil. However, when I face trials, I [b]experience[/b] those things and I come to truly [b] know[/b] God's Word is true. Experience is truly the best teacher!
Yes, life is full of testing , and that are from God. Sometimes we are not even aware that we are being tested. But testing is part and parcel of being a Christian, for the Lord desires to test our faith in Him, He desires to confirm our love for Him, though He knows all these, He still wants to test us for the buidling of our faith, that we will also be strong in Him.
Thanks for sharing, Brother Doulos.
From Hwa Silverpen
Thank you Brother Doulos for this very true message of testing of our faith in the Lord! Endurance! And some of Hebrews 12 which addressess chastisement and scourging! God Bless you richly! Dave