While walking out your faith, you are bound to run into a spiritual test or trial. The Apostle Peter addresses this in 1 Peter 1:7 as he says, “that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ…” He shows us that our faith must be tested to show our faith is genuine.
A spiritual test is defined as a life situation that God presents and is meant to test or prove a person’s individual moral character and obedience to God’s Laws. Faith is defined on dictionary.com as complete trust and confidence in someone or something. In Hebrews 11, also known as the Hall of faith, the Word tells us that faith is a substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. For by it the elders obtained a good testimony.
Christ shows in Matthew 25:23 that when we are not faithful in trivial matters, we are not expected to be faithful when we are confronted with greater matters. Our faithfulness is tested daily and every moment of our lives. This is a small example of how great God is. He gives us several opportunities to prove ourselves faithful, and it’s in these times when Christ can make an appearance. Time and time again, we are presented with the option to overcome the trial/test. These tests are unique to us and specific to our situations. God does not put us in situations that we cannot overcome. He always provides us with a way out of the trial/test and is there with us through it all (1 Cor 10:12-13). We are not made to be common people but a chosen generation, a royal priesthood (1 Pet 2:9) that can overcome and take dominion over the situation.
We are not made to be common people but a chosen generation, a royal priesthood (1 Pet 2:9) that can overcome and take dominion over the situation.
When we are led into a trial/tribulation, our first thought is usually how to get out of it. What we really should be asking God is what He wants to show us and what we should be learning through the trial. If the only thing we are trying to do is get out of the situation, then we are not going through what God has given. If you take an in-depth look, it is going against God in rebellion (Heb 3:12). Therefore when we are rebellious against or try to depart from what God has allowed then we are not staying faithful to our Father in heaven. We are God’s people, and it is our existence to glorify our Father in heaven (Matt 5:16) and to be faithful in all circumstances and not just those that are comfortable and pleasing to us.
All throughout the New and the Old Testament, we see great examples of testing and trials God’s people were introduced to. In the Old Testament, Abraham was tested with his dearly loved son. God asked Abraham to sacrifice Isaac (Heb 11:17). By passing his test through his works, Abraham left a testimony to his offspring and the tradition to us, his sons. We see that faith was working together with his works, and by works faith was made perfect (James 2:22).
In the New Testament, we see the Apostle Peter also went through a sifting or testing, one instance being in Luke 22:31-32. The Lord did not count Simon Peter’s falling away and denying Him as the test. Jesus knew there would be a sifting/testing but He had already prayed for his return and that Peter’s faith would not fail. If you are succumbing to the test and not persevering, you cannot move on to what God is calling you to. “For a righteous man may fall seven times And rise again, But the wicked shall fall by calamity” (Prov 24:16). Peter denied Christ, but he stood faithful. Jesus already declared that Simon Peter’s faith would not fail. Simon Peter’s test was to come back and strengthen his brethren and not to stay down and remain in judgment.
If you stay down and believe the lie that you have been given by the enemy, you do not believe God in His Word.
If you stay down and believe the lie that you have been given by the enemy, you do not believe God in His Word. God has given you an understanding and wisdom that does not pass away (Ecc 3:14). The Apostle Paul rebukes the church of Corinth for having a human wisdom that passes away. We should not place our faith in the wisdom of men but in the Power of God. We shouldn’t trust and lean on our own understanding and lose faith while we are in the midst of trials. For His ways are greater than our ways, and His thoughts are not our thoughts (Isa 55:8). We must separate our own understanding and ways (our own faith) from God’s ways and thoughts (God’s wisdom that has Power).
We must separate our own understanding and ways (our own faith) from God’s ways and thoughts (God’s wisdom that has Power).
A huge factor in having faith in the midst of trials is knowing there is a work that must be done on your end to complete the trial. In Revelation 3:8 Jesus says “I know your works. See, I have set before you an open door, and no one can shut it; for you have a little strength, have kept My word, and have not denied My name.” This is clear that He is saying there is a work that needs to be done. With faithfulness and work (Jas 2:22), we receive an open door to overcome and conquer our tests and trials.
Jesus tells us that we would experience trials and tribulation because we’re in this world. Trials and tribulation come for the Word’s sake (Mar 4:17). This means the tests and trials have come to be tested in you. The truth of the Word that has been planted within you as a seed into the ground (Luke 8:11), how will it react when the winds or trials come? Will it remain stable and immovable? Or will it quickly depart? Fear not, He has also said that He has overcome the world (John 16:33), and we have victory through our Lord Jesus Christ (1 Cor 15:57). Endure, for no temptation can overtake you because God has given you what you can handle and bear (1 Cor 10:13).
In closing, I leave you with an excerpt from Origen, an Ante-Nicene Father.
Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go before him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowds” (Mt 14:22). For the crowd could not go across to the other side . . . But what is the boat into which Jesus forced the disciples to embark? Is it perhaps the conflict of temptations and trials into which one is forced by the WORD, and to which one goes unwillingly, as it were, all because the Savior wishes his disciples to get some training in this boat as it gets buffeted by the waves and the contrary wind? . . . For it is not possible to get to the other side without enduring the temptations of waves and contrary wind. That which following scripture the Apostle Paul wrote to the church of Corinth.
1Co 15:58 Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.
NKJV Bible Scriptures
Origen: Spirit and Fire Pg. 118
In the Midst of trials