The Trials of Our Faith

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" (1 Peter 1: 7).

A trial of faith may well have an important place in your Christian experience for without trials we cannot grow strong in the Lord. There are three points the Lord would have you know that you might understand something of his ways, and not be confused. Lack of understanding brings confusion but knowledge brings peace.

1 Peter 4: 12-13 reads, "Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: but rejoice, in as much as ye are partakers of Christ's sufferings; that, when his glory shall he revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy."

The points that we should notice are these:

A Truth Revealed in Light

Suppose you have just been saved and this truth has been revealed to you from God's Word. John 3: 36 ("He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life"). You have accepted God's Son and you believe you have everlasting life, according to the Word. You feel wonderful and this truth is intensely real to you, you see everything in a different light. Or perhaps the truth which has been revealed to you is that of healing (Matt. 8: 17); or of the gift of the Holy Spirit (Acts 2: 38, 39); or of material prosperity (3 John 2). Perhaps it is some other truth but remember this, every truth when tried by the touchstone of God's Word, will stand the test. Half truths or untruths will quickly be discerned.The Holy Spirit will then apply the truth to your heart. However, a testing and trying of your faith in any newly understood truth will almost invariably follow. If there is some torment or untruth which threatens to pull you down from your stand of faith, you will always find there is some promise in the Word which you can grasp and rest upon. It is just here that most people let go of what they have received from God and they do not realise that a trial is taking place.

A Trial of Faith in Darkness

When folk do not realise they are being tested everything begins to look opposite to the Word. Your feelingsy have changed and you wonder what strange thing is happening to you (1 Peter 4: 12). Your thoughts are negative and your circumstances have turned against you. That which was light to you is lost in darkness and appears wrong. It seems as if you have lost what-ever you received and you wonder if you have received anything at all. You are tempted to let it all go and to return to where you were before you stepped out in faith, (like the Israelites newly released from the bondage of Egypt, who became afraid of the desert and of the pursuit of their one-time captors, and wanted to return to slavery). You wonder if the Word means what it says or if it means something else instead! You have no happy feelings to cling to and are tossed to and fro, (James 1: 6). You try to excuse your want of faith by doubting whether this blessing or the knowledge of this truth was God's will for you. You are pressed out of measure and are in confusion. You just do not see that this is a trial of faith. You are experiencing spiritual darkness and you do not know why or what it is.

Pure Faith as Gold

Gold is tried in fire in order to separate the rubbish from the pure gold and even so is our faith tested and tried.
Faith can only be faith when it is resting on God's promises and not upon fluctuating feelings. A trial of faith clearly shows the difference between faith and feeling. Some people imagine they have faith but when a trial comes they let go. This proves it was not faith they had but feeling, for faith does not vary with circumstances.

The Bible says, "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" (1 Peter 1: 7). We read, "If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove, and nothing shall he impossible to you" (Matt. 17: 20). A grain of mustard seed cannot be pollinated with any other seed. It is pure. So Jesus meant that even this amazing thing was possible, if we have pure faith.

The Devil Defeated

Always remember that the devil who tempts you is legally defeated. Christ defeated Satan at Calvary, "For this purpose the son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil," (1 John 3: 8). Satan can only make things appear bad and tempt you for a time. He has no legal rights or power, Christ took it from him at Calvary, . . . “and ye are complete in him (Christ) which is the head of all principality and power" (Col. 2: 10).

In Matthew 4 we read how Jesus was taken into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil. "When the tempter came to (Jesus) he spoke the written Word. Now some people think that the devil was standing near Jesus speaking to him. No! the Bible says that Jesus was tempted in all things in like manner as we are.
Satan must have come to Jesus through his feelings and pressed him saying, "If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread." Jesus was so hungry that he really did feel like doing what he was pressed to do. However, he took no notice of his feelings, he simply answered Satan with the Word . . . "It is written . . ."

Satan had to stop in his tracks. He was beaten. Satan then made two more attempts at Jesus causing him to feel the desires within his being. Jesus however, continually answered by the Word and as you know, Satan gave up and Jesus went forth in the power of the Spirit. His faith was pure. Isn't that wonderful? Hallelujah!

Remember when trials come rest in the grace of God and use his Word as a sword. In 2 Cor. 12: 9 the Lord says, "My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness." Your weakness. So Christ in you is your strength.

Confess what the Word says. A trial is only for a time then it departs and you can see the Lord's ways and understand his wisdom. A trial of faith settles you in the Word, not in self or in other people but in the Word. You become solid as a rock. The Word never fails, God cannot lie. "Let God be true and every man a liar."

Here are some scriptures about trials:
James 1: 12: 2 Cor. 8: 2; 1 Peter 1: 7; Hebrews 11: 36-38; 1 Peter 4: 12-16; James 1: 3; 1 Cor. 3: 13: 1 Thess. 2: 4; Rev. 3: 18; Rev. 2: 2.

Look up these scriptures and become established in the Word. Either we have faith or we have not. If we have not faith, we have feelings instead. Pure faith depends solely and entirely upon God's Word. A trial will clearly reveal what is faith and what is merely feeling. Pure faith just trusts in God and his promises. Indeed it is so simple that it is child-like so simple that many folk think it must be extremely difficult and they never attain to it!

What then is the basis of your faith? God's promises (Hebrews 10: 23). Who is the author of that faith? Jesus Christ (Hebrews 12: 2). You know now that a trial of faith strengthens your spirit and you become spiritually strong.

Helen Beard

Other Messages by Helen

From Faith to Faith Helen Beard
Faith's Confession Helen Beard
You Are Righteous Helen Beard
Faith in Love Divine Helen Beard
The Trial of Our Faith Helen Beard
The Law of Love Helen Beard