Monday, January 21, 2019

Christian's Are Called To Endure Test And Sufferings

“Consider it a great joy, my brothers, whenever you experience various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. But endurance must do its complete work, so that you may be mature and complete, lacking nothing” (James 1:2-4 HCSB). 

The Endurance Of Test and Trials Produces God's Quality In Us

Although we have written about tests and trials before, those articles merely highlighted from a biblical perspective the existence of tests and trials. In this week’s article, however, we will be discussing how test and trials bring us closer to God. During last week, my wife and some brethren visited a pastor who needed help. Some of his church members were involved in some very serious spiritual issues. By the Lord’s grace, we identified the enemy, Satan. Having said this, people do not always recognize and appreciate tests and trials. When they are confronted with the test, they panic, doubt and end up questioning their faith in God. Please read on to learn how to accept test and benefit spiritually from it.

Broadly speaking, almost everything in life that is human-made is subject to some test to determine the quality and durability of thereof. It is also true that, given to the uncertain nature of life, as humans, we give ourselves some certainty as to the stability and usability of something or someone by conducting some tests. With the insistence on factual quality lately, we may attach no greater assurance on something if there is no proven assurance of quality, after enduring rigorous tests.

Likewise, people do not just blindly put their trust in somebody; they would want to know more about some person before placing their trust in that person. The ‘test’ often employed by people who has an express interest in somebody, is conducted using the questioning technique and a general inquiry into the life and work of a given person. By exercising an interest, which is frequently influenced by our values, we develop an attitude of a like or no like, trust or no trust. Whatever our decision, our value-based choice is not without reason. Whatever our reasons, and after we have conducted this simple test on some person, and after having accepted a friendship, we gradually start working on this new relationship and only the quality we both build onto it will determine if we would continue until forever. There may be some stages in the relationship, but the efforts we employ often determines the quality of any fellowship or relationship.

In contrast, if either of person fails to build quality onto a relationship, and if people are to part ways, there would be no strong feeling or some sense of loss. If however, one party added a quality effort to a relationship it is obvious that the pain of loss will be greatly felt by the person who gave more (Luke 7:47).

Test reveals the Strength and Quality of our faith

Like we acknowledged in some of our previous articles a test may be oppressive and intrusive (1 Peter 1:6). But it is necessary as it reveals the quality of our faith, our love for God and the durability of our patience and humility (1 Peter 1:7). Although God is using the test to determine our love and fear for Him, by exposing our shortcomings through these tests, He teaches us humility, gratefulness, submission to Him while leading us to repentance (Deuteronomy 8:2).

Therefore, the fruit of the test determines the quality we built into our relationship with God. It is for our good that we should appreciate the nature of tests and trials as our opening scripture above declares. In other words, the test by God or the devil gives us feedback on the state of our heart (Jeremiah 17:10). If the test led us to submission to God, our actions would proof reward some and truthful (Genesis 22:16-18). God has nothing to proof to us not His love nor His power and neither can we test God (John 3:16; Luke 4:12; Romans 1:19-20).

Knowing the humility that came from the cross, no Christian who truly experienced the cross would display arrogance, pride, lack of self-control and hatred for others. If these and other vices are present at any given time in any Christian, we may then conclude that such a brother or sister either ignored the value of tests or failed test and trials which resulted in the hardening of their hearts and attitudes (Hebrews 3:15). What we mean is this, to avoid test or trials people embark on pity parties, complaining and a fault-finding mission (Numbers 11:1; Exodus 17:1-3). Like the Israelites, they did not appreciate the value of the test, but the losses they're incurred as a result of the test, so they rejected the test and to their disadvantage, their complaining reaped them judgment (Numbers 14:2-4; 26-35).

Accepting Tests created by our Circumstances

Like we know it, life is unpredictable, and there are some unpleasant circumstances in life which we never wished or have asked for, but it will be there (Luke 17:1). If we could, we would have liked to avoid some test or trial which often manifest through our circumstances, and we seldom have a choice to alter it, isn’t it? Whatever the situation, whether it be to take care of someone or a family, losing a job, house, a close friend, brother, sister or parents. The presence of evil in some unpleasant situations often brings with it fear. I would like to add, the Lord told us that fear often leads people to ungodly behavior and conclusions (Job 27:2; Ruth 1:20). However, when the moment of the trial has manifested the content of our character, faith and endurance would be measured, and we should not fear it, but embrace it. As an encouragement, if we have the Lord in our lives, we would submit to Him and rely on Him to carry us through the storm (Isaiah 43:2). While the Lord would be busy working out our rescue package, we would be growing by taking in the positives (patience, endurance, humility, self-control, faith, and knowledge) as it cuts eternal virtues into our attitudes (2 Peter 1:5-8).

In our experiences with the Lord, one Wednesday evening while we were busy worshipping, the devil created a situation involving some of our children. In our reaction, which caused us great fear and panic which obviously resulted in us suspending our worship session. By the unfolding situation which was fuelled by evil, almost all of us were in a state of shock and fear. However, as we prayed and looked to the one we serve and worship, He gave us calm and restored our souls (Psalm 23:3). By God’s grace, no injury or any harm afflicted our children in that moment of the test. The next morning, however, and in a heartwarming encouragement to us as a ministry, the Lord said, That incident was just a test, but the devil did not succeed, Well done, Preparing for the Kingdom of God Ministry, you have shown that God is your Rock and the prosperity teachers depend on the arm of flesh”.

With this, we conclude saying, by encouraging you dear brethren that if are plagued with tests, trials and unwanted situations, don’t panic in fear but pray. The Lord encouraged us to pray without ceasing (1 Thessalonians 5:17) until He melts the situation away and when He did, we would only sit with the fruit of our endurance, faith and God’s promises (Hebrews 10:36).

We would like to extend an invitation to anyone who does not know the Lord Jesus Christ yet, or of you are not born again, to pray our suggested prayer on this link Prayer of Sincere Repentance
by faith and follow the Lord (Matthew 4:19). You may also contact us for any questions or comments about this article or our ministry.

Blessed grace in submission to Christ

Brother Glenn