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Tests and Trials


 

 Sometimes it seems as if everything is going wrong in life. God tests us in different ways, to “refine us in the fire”, to make us stronger in faith, and to prove that our faith in him is genuine. The more you stand through the tests and trials the more understanding and strength you will have in Christ. Satan also tests us, he tempts us and tries to separate us from God through sin. You can see how Satan tests others in the book of Job, and Jesus Christ even tells Peter, “ Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.” (Luke 22:31-32).

 


Psalm 66:8-12

8 Praise our God, O peoples, let the sound of his praise be heard; 9 he has preserved our lives and kept our feet from slipping. 10 For you, O God, tested us; you refined us like silver. 11 You brought us into prison and laid burdens on our backs. 12 You let men ride over our heads; we went through fire and water, but you brought us to a place of abundance.

(You may have to go to prison for Christ, be insulted, or face other kinds of persecutions. Standing faithful is what makes you stronger and brings you closer to God. And passing a test does not go unrewarded.)

 


Isaiah 48:9-11

9 For my own name’s sake I delay my wrath; for the sake of my praise I hold it back from you, so as not to cut you off. 10 See, I have refined you, though not as silver; I have tested you in the furnace of affliction. 11 For my own sake, for my own sake, I do this. How can I let myself be defamed? I will not yield my glory to another.

(Here, God is talking. He is testing Israel in the furnace of affliction (punishing them) for turning to Idols. Even though Isreal does not deserve it, God is showing His love because He wants them to come back to him for His sake, His glory, and praise. That He may fulfill his plans through His holy people.)

 


1 Corinthians 3:10-15

10 By the grace God has given me, I laid a foundation as an expert builder, and someone else is building on it. But each one should be careful how he builds. 11 For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12 If any man builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, 13 his work will be shown for what it is, because the day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each man’s work. 14 If what he has built survives, he will receive his reward. 15 If it is burned up, he will suffer loss; he himself will be saved, but only as one escaping through the flames.

(The more effort you put into becoming a disciple of Jesus Christ and putting your faith in him, the stronger you will be, you will be ready for all kinds of tests and trials. Gold, silver, and costly stones will build a beautiful house and would be much harder to burn down. But a house built of wood, hay, or straw are much cheaper materials, worth less, and would burn up much easier. Do not lack faith, enter discipleship with all you have. It takes a long time to build a house but it can burn down in less than a day.)


1 Peter 1:6-7

6 In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. 7 These have come so that your faith-of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire-may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.

(Give your whole heart to the Lord. If you are lacking in one area, ask Him to stregnthen you in that area. You can be sure that He will test you in your weak areas to make you stronger.)


1 Peter 4:12-14

12 Dear friends, do not be surprised at the painful trial you are suffering, as though something strange were happening to you, 13 But rejoice that you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed. 14 If you are insulted because of the name of Christ, you are blessed, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you.

  (Many times it feels too hard to stand, but remember that if you are suffering then you will share in the kingdom of Christ. Think of the joy that comes after suffering instead of asking, "Why is this happening to me?")


 1 Peter 5:8-11

8 Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. 9 Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings. 10 And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. 11 To him be the power for ever and ever. Amen.

(Remember that no matter what you are going through right now, someone is going through, has gone through, or is going through something worse, somewhere in the world. Think of the less fortunate and count your blessings and give thanks to God for what you have. So many people around the world have much less than what you have right now. We sometimes begin to look at the glass half empty instead of half full.)