Trials Will Show that Your Faith is Genuine (by Rick Warren)

 

 

“These trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being   tested as fire tests and purifies gold.” (1 Peter 1:7a NLT)The Bible repeatedly says that God has promised to meet your needs: “And   my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in   Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:19 NIV).

But the Bible also tells us that with every promise there is a   condition. One of the conditions for this promise is that you have to trust   him. The more you trust God, the more God is able to meet needs in your life.

So, how can you learn to trust God more so he can meet all of your   needs? How can you learn to have greater faith?

You don’t get faith by sitting in a Bible study group or just talking   about it. Faith is like a muscle; it develops by being used. The more you use   your faith, the more it gets stretched. And the more it gets stretched, the   more God is able to bless your life.

We call the circumstances that God creates to stretch our faith   “trials”: “These trials will show that your faith is   genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold” (1   Peter 1:7a NLT).

There are four common trials that God uses to test our faith, and,   chances are, you’re in one of these tests right now. When you go through   them, you can know that it is an opportunity for you to develop your faith so   you can trust God more. I’ll talk about the first two today and the next two   tomorrow.

  1. The Pressure Test
    The pressure test asks the question, “How will you handle stress?”        Will you depend on yourself, or will you depend on God? Psalm 50:15        says, “Call on me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you        will honor me” (NIV). Do you turn to God when you’re in trouble        and not to other things?
  2. The People Test
    God often uses people in your life to test and stretch and develop your        faith. This test asks the question, “How will you handle        disappointment?” Life is often disappointing. Careers, marriages, and        even plans don’t turn out the way we planned them. But the most disappointing        thing in life is people. Why? We get disappointed by people because we        expect them to meet a need that only God himself can meet. This is a        test!

Your problem is not the people in your life. Your problem is your   response to the people in your life. People are not the problem, and they’re   not the answer to the problem, either. The answer is God. When you expect   other people to be your savior, you’re setting yourself up for   disappointment.

Jeremiah 17:7 says, “Blessed are those who trust in the Lord and   have made the Lord their hope and confidence” (NLT). What happens if you   trust in the Lord? Look at God’s promise in Isaiah 49:23: “Those who hope in   me will not be disappointed” (NIV).

Talk It Over

  • Which of these tests is        God using in your life right now to stretch your faith?
  • How will you choose to        respond to the stress and people in your life that are testing your        faith?

 

 

 

Zechariah 6:13

He shall build the temple of the Lord; and He shall bear the glory.

 

Christ Himself is the builder of His spiritual temple, and He has built it on the mountains of His unchangeable affection, His omnipotent grace, and His infallible truthfulness. But as it was in Solomon’s temple, so in this; the materials need making ready. There are the “Cedars of Lebanon,” but they are not framed for the building; they are not cut down, and shaped, and made into those planks of cedar, whose odoriferous beauty shall make glad the courts of the Lord’s house in Paradise. There are also the rough stones still in the quarry, they must be hewn thence, and squared. All this is Christ’s own work. Each individual believer is being prepared, and polished, and made ready for his place in the temple; but Christ’s own hand performs the preparation-work. Afflictions cannot sanctify, excepting as they are used by Him to this end. Our prayers and efforts cannot make us ready for heaven, apart from the hand of Jesus, who fashioneth our hearts aright. As in the building of Solomon’s temple, “there was neither hammer, nor axe, nor any tool of iron, heard in the house,” because all was brought perfectly ready for the exact spot it was to occupy-so is it with the temple which Jesus builds; the making ready is all done on earth. When we reach heaven, there will be no sanctifying us there, no squaring us with affliction, no planing us with suffering. No, we must be made meet here-all that Christ will do beforehand; and when He has done it, we shall be ferried by a loving hand across the stream of death, and brought to the heavenly Jerusalem, to abide as eternal pillars in the temple of our Lord.
“Beneath His eye and care,

The edifice shall rise,

Majestic, strong, and fair,

And shine above the skies.

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