Is it faith if it hasn’t been tested?
When a woman goes shopping for a dress or a man is looking for that perfect fit in a jacket does he or she buy it sight unseen or without trying it on to see what they look like in it? Or would you buy a house without going into it and looking around? No, you don’t buy an article of clothing or a piece of real estate without first inspecting it, in other words you don’t buy anything in faith, you have to see it first. We pray and ask God for any number of things and I wonder if we really believe that there is a true and living God on the other end of that prayer that hears and answers.
Hebrews chapter 11 starts with, “What is faith? It is the confident assurance that something we want is going to happen. It is the certainty that what we hope for is waiting for us, even though we cannot see it up ahead. Men of God in days of old were famous for their faith. By faith—by believing God—we know that the world and the stars—in fact, all things—were made at God’s command; and that they were all made from things that can’t be seen.
God has answered every prayer I have ever answered with a yes, a no, or wait a while. I may not have always been happy with the answer but my faith said to trust Him to know what was best for me and it always turned out for my good.
We all have trials of our faith! But are they good for us?
Let’s think about a young shepherd boy, David. What happened before he became the King “after God’s own heart”? He faced things that “tried” him so he was ready for the fight when he heard Goliath challenge Saul’s army and he volunteered!
1 Samuel 17:33-37 Saul answered David, “You can’t go and fight this Philistine. You’re too young and inexperienced—and he’s been at this fighting business since before you were born.” David said, “I’ve been a shepherd, tending sheep for my father. Whenever a lion or bear came and took a lamb from the flock, I’d go after it, knock it down, and rescue the lamb. If it turned on me, I’d grab it by the throat, wring its neck, and kill it. Lion or bear, it made no difference—I killed it. And I’ll do the same to this Philistine pig that is taunting the troops of God-Alive. God, who delivered me from the teeth of the lion and the claws of the bear, will deliver me from this Philistine.”
David had already experienced fighting the wild animals and won, he was ready! The giant was in full armor with an armor-bearing servant running in front of him. David chose to go without armor and his only weapon was his slingshot! He went down to the waters edge and chose five smooth stones; I’m not sure why he chose five when I feel he knew he would only need one!
How did the stone that he chose get to where he found it? Was it always a smooth stone? I daresay that at one time it was a part of a large boulder that had rolled off the mountain, pieces that broke off from it landing in the rushing water pushing it against other stones and the ground and sand, until it was polished by it’s rough treatment. It was ready to do a job, to fit snugly in the pouch of David’s slingshot and no doubt be guided by the hand of an angel into the one unguarded spot on the giant’s whole body, one little place on his forehead! He was hit and fell forward on his face! David took the giant’s own sword and cut his head from his body and took it to the King!
The preparation he got from fighting the bear and the lion gave him the courage he needed to face his giant. Have you got a giant in your life that you are trying to conquer?
1 Peter 1:7 These trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold—though your faith is far more precious than mere gold. So when your faith remains strong through many trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world. 1 Peter 4:12-13 Friends, when life gets really difficult, don’t jump to the conclusion that God isn’t on the job. Instead, be glad that you are in the very thick of what Christ experienced. This is a spiritual refining process, with glory just around the corner.
Malachi 3:3 He’ll be like white-hot fire from the smelter’s furnace. He’ll be like the strongest lye soap at the laundry. He’ll take his place as a refiner of silver, as a cleanser of dirty clothes. He’ll scrub the Levite priests clean; refine them like gold and silver.
Your trials only make you strong enough to face your giant. God doesn’t try you to find out who you are, He already knows, He is allowing you to find out for yourself just who you are and what you can do, through Him!
I am speaking to you tonight from the position of being in the middle of a testing period so this whole article is for my own self and meanwhile I hope you benefit from it!
Don’t be afraid to have your rough edges smoothed out, you may be picked up, to serve!