The Testing of Your Faith, Part 1
Many of you right now probably find your faith is in the fire. Some are going through an ordeal. “A faith that cannot be tested cannot be trusted,” Warren Weirsbe observes. Understand that tests and temptations come in two kinds:
God wants you to understand whether or not you have the real thing. If you want to have a pure faith like purified gold, then God will put your faith in the fire. God intends you no harm in a test, whereas Satan is out to destroy you (See John 10:10).
God wants to make our faith strong and pure, “that the trial [testing] of your faith, being more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tested with fire, might be found unto praise, honor and glory at the appearing of Jesus” 1 Peter 1:7.
Satan’s temptations are pretty well standardized. But God knows where you are, your circumstances, and if God puts you through a test, His tests are tailor-made.
One of the greatest saints who faced one of the greatest tests was Abraham. Hebrews chapter 11, the “Hall of Faith Heroes” chapter, says,
17 “By faith Abraham, when he was tried, offered up Isaac: and he that had received the promises offered up his only begotten son, of whom it was said, That in Isaac shall thy seed be called….”
Abraham’s only hope of children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren would come through Isaac. Can you imagining taking your son and offer him as a burnt sacrifice? Yet in obedience to God, Abraham was obediently willing.
How could he do that? 19“According that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead….” We know the end of the story: having put Abraham to the test, God sent a ram to be the substitute sacrifice for Isaac. This provided for us a foreshadowing of Jesus’ death on the cross—Jesus as our substitute.
God is going to test your faith by asking you to do something that may surprise you. Not by giving up wrong things or bad things, but by giving up good things or perhaps setting aside some good thing. Abraham’s test was in giving back to the Lord the blessing of his son.
Here’s the question I’m asking you, that I’ve had to wrestle with before I gave this message: Are you able to give your blessings back to God? Not are you willing to give up your sins for God, but are you willing to give your blessings back to God? That’s what Abraham was asked to do.
I want to lay three questions on your heart. Let’s see if your faith can pass the test. Here is the first one:
CAN I TRUST GOD WITH THE POSSESSIONS HE HAS GIVEN ME?
Could it be that Abraham was coming to love Isaac more than loving God? Loving the gift more than the giver? That God now was moving into second place? It was not wrong for Abraham to love Isaac. What God wants to know is, Abraham, do you love Me more than you love Isaac? The angels said the test was to find out whether that was true. God will never take second place to anything or to anyone in your life.
After the resurrection, Jesus asked Simon Peter, “Peter, lovest thou Me more than these?” meaning,
“Do you love me more than your brothers, your possessions, your boats, your way of life? Peter, I will not take second place in your life.”
The test of faith is not primarily between love and hate, but between two loves: those things we love dearly and that which we must love supremely.
Many of us want to give God “a place” in our lives. May I say it clearly: God does not want “a place” in your life. You say, “Then I’ll give Him prominence in my life.” God does not want prominence in your life. God desires, deserves, and demands preeminence in your life. He will not be a part-time God with a duplex for a throne.
I had to ask myself before giving this message: Adrian, do you have in your heart any love that is greater than your love for Jesus Christ? I challenge you to ask yourself that question. Whatever it is, just give it to Him and say, “It’s Yours. With an open hand God, they and these are Thine.” That’s not easy to do.
We’re only halfway through this message on the challenge to our faith. In the next post, we’ll see how to answer the questions
CAN I TRUST GOD WITH THE PURPOSE HE HAS FOR ME?
CAN I TRUST HIM WITH THE PROMISES HE HAS MADE TO ME?
Find out how to answer those questions with a firm and faith-filled “Yes.”
There is a way, and Adrian Rogers shares it with you.
To hear this entire message, including more content than we can share here, the message will be heard on radio nationwide in two parts on Tuesday and Wednesday, May 15 and 16. You can hear it on our website, www.lwf.org on those dates and afterward, and at www.oneplace.com.
If you’d like a CD copy for your own study and review or to share with a loved one or friend, call us at 1-800-LOVE-GOD and request Message # 2392, “The Testing of Your Faith.”