A Faith Must Be Tested
By David J. Stewart
The Bible teaches that a believer's faith must be tested . . . “Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations: That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ: Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory” (1st Peter 1:6-8). God only had one Son without sin; but He never had a son without temptation and suffering. Every believer's faith will be tested.
Here is an excellent quote from the mighty preacher and man of God, Brother Lester Roloff . . .
The thing that will reveal your faith is praying when no answer comes. That's the supreme test. I've gone over a number of chapters in the book of Job again. In one of them, Job said, "Oh that I knew where I might find Him." He was looking for God. Can you imagine? He was the best man God had and he couldn't find Him. He said "Lord, I want you to show me why you're doing this to me. We've always been on good terms and you've been my best friend. I'm not against you and am not going to turn against you, but I need an explanation and I want you to give it." But the Lord didn't pay him any attention. I imagine the Lord just kind of smiled and said, "Later on. After a while."
So finally Job said "I went forward and He wasn't there. Backward. I couldn't perceive Him. On the left hand where He doth work. I couldn't behold Him. On the right hand where He hid himself and I couldn't see him." That's all the directions isn't it? Forward, backward, left, right. He said "I couldn't get one glimpse of Him." Then he said, "But He knoweth the way that I take and when He hath tried me, He will bring me forth as gold. My feet have held His steps. His way have I kept and not declined. Neither have I gone back from the commandment of His lips. I've esteemed His words more than my necessary food." That's the secret of it right there. It was the most severe test he ever had. It wasn't when all of his ten children died. It wasn't when he lost all of his camels, oxen and sheep and goats and chickens. It wasn't when he lost all of his servants. The greatest loss was not when Mrs. Job came and said, "Just curse God and die." That wasn't his most severe test. That was just part of it.
Then three fair-weather friends came and looked at him and they didn't speak for seven days. Not one word. Finally they opened their mouths and skinned him and scalded him and scathed him and ate him up alive. But that wasn't his greatest test. Do you know what the greatest test was? You've never been there until you've reached this place, and that is when you look up to God and there's not any God. You just pray like you used to pray and there's no answer. There's no response. There's no God. There's no feeling and your faith is severely tested. But let me tell you something. You're going to have to learn to believe God when you cannot perceive God. You're going to have to learn to "faith" Him when you can't feel Him. Unless you do, you're going to be in bad shape before this thing's over with. There'll come a time when God reserves the right to cut you completely loose from Him and then see what your faith will lead you to do. "In all this, Job sinned not nor charged God foolishly."
SOURCE: Brother Lester Roloff, from the sermon titled, Something Everybody Can Do
Pastor Jack Hyles once said in a sermon . . . “Unshakable faith comes from having your faith shaken.” I never forgot that awesome truth. So often we view our burdens, trials and tribulations as evidence that God doesn't care about us, doesn't answer our prayers and doesn't like us. Nothing could be further from the truth of God's Word.
The Bible tells us in 1st Peter 1:7 that the TRIAL OF YOUR FAITH is much more valuable than gold (which presently costs about $900 an ounce). Our earthly troubles and burdens are priceless to God because they serve the divine purpose of refining us, to bring us forth as vessels of honor unto God. In other words, our trials and tribulations make us better Christians if we don't quit. This Biblical doctrine is virtually unheard of in today's apostate churches, where everyone seems to be following a health, wealth and prosperity false gospel.
Job said, “Oh that I knew where I might find him! that I might come even to his seat!" (Job 23:3).” I can surely relate to Job. There have been times in my life when everything was going wrong, and I was greatly discouraged, and wondered why God wasn't answering my prayers. Job experienced the same drought in his prayer life. It is easy to become discouraged and stop praying, saying “What's the use of praying”; but Brother Roloff hit the nail right on the head . . .
“The thing that will reveal your faith is praying when no answer comes. That's the supreme test.”
Let the atheists and unbelievers mock and scoff at our faith in God, even when He doesn't answer; but we know that the Word of God is true, and that God works in mysterious ways that we often cannot understand. It is a matter of faith. Either you believe that the Bible is God's Word or you don't. If you do, as I do, then learn to trust the heart of God when you can't see the hand of God at work. It is interesting to note that God is never mentioned in the Old Testament book of Esther; yet we wonderfully see God's presence and power in the unfolding events throughout the story. Perhaps you cannot see God's hand at work in your life right now, but you you can rest assure that God is working behind the scenes in answer to your prayers if you are saved.