November 17
The eight points of testing
2 Corinthians 2:12
"... thanks be to God who always leads us in triumphal procession in Christ ..." (v.14)

Some of the characteristics of faithfulness are honesty, reliability and a deep concern for truth. Another characteristic is the quality of carrying through on all God's commands to us -- keeping faith to the end.
To help us come through the times of testing everyone has to face at some time, the Holy Spirit builds into us the ability to see things through to the end. One writer has listed the eight fiercest tests a Christian faces in this world in this order: (1) Humiliation -- a savage and plausible attack on our reputation. (2) Suffering -- physical, mental or spiritual. (3) Bereavement -- especially in relation to a loved one whose death was "untimely." (4) Estrangement or treachery from one's family and friends. (5) Doubt -- deep, dark and awful. (6) Failure -- the breaking up of one's life work. (7) Dereliction -- the sense of being forsaken by God. (8) A slow, painful and unillumined death.
Not all of us have all of them to meet, but meeting any one of them can be a strong and severe test. How does a Christian triumph in the midst of such fierce testings as are listed above? Any triumph we experience at such times is the triumph of the Holy Spirit. He dwells in us, not just for the pleasure of inhabiting our beings, but to lead us to victory over all our problems. Perhaps you are being called to face one or more of these eight points of testing this very moment. Then take courage -- the Holy Spirit is with you and in you to take you through the fire and bring you out triumphant.
Prayer: Father, I am grateful that Your Spirit dwells within me to lead me through to victory. Even in my darkest trials You are there, inspiring me and causing me to triumph in all things. Thank You, Father. Amen.
For Further Study
1. What was Jesus' promise to His disciples?
2. What was Paul's gripping conviction? Steadfastness