Enduring the Trial of your faith
Apostle Aje Pelser, Harvester Reformational Church, Cape Town
Scripture: James 1:12 Wuest’s Translation
“Spiritually prosperous is the man who remains steadfast under trial, because after he has met the test and has been approved, he shall receive the crown, namely the crown which has to do with the life (eternal life), which crown He promised to those who love Him.”
We have learnt about Apostolic Tea – the five T’s that every believer needs to face:
Tests; Trials; Tribulation; Trouble and Temptation. Trials are extended tests.
When we face a trial of your faith, like we are going through now, we can have the following assurances of enduring the trial of our faith. Here are some assurances to endure the trial of our faith. For sportsman, a trial is a process of selection into a higher team. If you are going through a trial, God is selecting you for something greater in your life! That is a reason to rejoice!
1. First of all get a good Lawyer! Jesus is our Advocate, God is our Judge, and the Holy Spirit is our Witness – the jury is a cloud of witnesses cheering us on. The accuser has been cast down. We overcome him by the blood of the Lamb, word of our testimony and not loving our lives unto death. Rev. 12:11
1 John 2:1 Heb 12:22 But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, to an innumerable company of angels,
Heb 12:23 to the general assembly and church of the firstborn who are registered in heaven, to God the Judge of all, to the spirits of just men made perfect,
Heb 12:24 to Jesus the Mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling that speaks better things than that of Abel.
2. Apply faith and patience. Patience establishes your heart. We can imitate those who through faith and patience inherit the promises God has for them. Can you think of a few people in your life that have inherited what God has for them through faith and patience? Hebrews 6:12.
Understand how patience works.
James 5:7 Therefore be patient, brethren, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, waiting patiently for it until it receives the early and latter rain.
James 5:8 You also be patient. Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand.
3. Remain steadfast and resolute in your conviction. How would we do that?
There is a clue in the book of Hebrews that is linked to church:
Heb 10:23 Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful.
Heb 10:24 And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works,
Heb 10:25 not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.
Let’s read about Abraham, who had to wait around 24 years for the promise of a son:
Rom 4:17 (as it is written, “I HAVE MADE YOU A FATHER OF MANY NATIONS”) in the presence of Him whom he believed—God, who gives life to the dead and calls those things which do not exist as though they did;
Rom 4:18 who, contrary to hope, in hope believed, so that he became the father of many nations, according to what was spoken, “SO SHALL YOUR DESCENDANTS BE.”
Rom 4:19 And not being weak in faith, he did not consider his own body, already dead (since he was about a hundred years old), and the deadness of Sarah’s womb.
Rom 4:20 He did not waver at the promise of God through unbelief, but was strengthened in faith, giving glory to God,
Rom 4:21 and being fully convinced that what He had promised He was also able to perform.
Rom 4:22 And therefore “IT WAS ACCOUNTED TO HIM FOR RIGHTEOUSNESS.”
Consider this that you are a spiritual descendent of Abraham through faith in Jesus. That same DNA of Abraham’s faith is in you.
4. Meet the test. The reason for a test of your faith is to reveal your heart. God knows what he allows in our lives and he wants us to see our own hearts. The good news is that He gave us the Holy Spirit in the new covenant to help us and deal with the issues holding us back form the fullness of life He has planned for us.
Deu_8:2 And you shall remember that the LORD your God led you all the way these forty years in the wilderness, to humble you and test you, to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep His commandments or not.
Deu_8:16 who fed you in the wilderness with manna, which your fathers did not know, that He might humble you and that He might test you, to do you good in the end—
5. Let God approve you in the trial.
Act 2:22 Ye men of Israel, hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know:
2Ti_2:15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
Rom 14:18 For he who serves Christ in these things (V17: righteousness, peace and joy in the holy Spirit) is acceptable to God and approved by men.
Joh_6:27 Do not labor for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to everlasting life, which the Son of Man will give you, because God the Father has set His seal on Him.”
1Co_9:2 If I am not an apostle to others, yet doubtless I am to you. For you are the seal of my apostleship in the Lord.
2Ti_2:19 Nevertheless the solid foundation of God stands, having this seal: “The Lord knows those who are His,” and, “Let everyone who names the name of Christ depart from iniquity.”
Eph_1:13 In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise,
Eph_4:30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.
6. Look forward to the crown of life that God promises to those who love him through the trial of their faith. 2Ti 4:7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.
2Ti 4:8 Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing.
7. Look forward to Jesus’ return. But also look for His appearing in the situation.
Remove grumbling and murmuring during the trial. Complaining and murmuring against God in a trial prevents entry into the Promised Land. Number 14:29
Jas 5:9 Do not grumble against one another, brethren, lest you be condemned. Behold, the Judge is standing at the door!
8. Take a leaf from the book of the prophets who have gone before you. Draw from the principles of faith heroes in in the Bible and faithful saints in your life. Take the time to study the lives of people that you think had great faith. You may be surprised that they were people just like you, fighting off doubt and fear and taking their little mustard seed faith and watering it through the most trying of times. If you had to interview Abraham, Daniel, Joseph, even faith heroes today, they will all tell you the same thing: “I’m not special, I just believe in God. You can believe in God too!”
Jas 5:10 My brethren, take the prophets, who spoke in the name of the Lord, as an example of suffering and patience.
Jas 5:11 Indeed we count them blessed who endure.
Jas 5:17 Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed earnestly that it would not rain; and it did not rain on the land for three years and six months.
Jas 5:18 And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth produced its fruit.
Jesus tried to explain this principle of faith in believers that lifted them into another level of existence:
Mat 11:11 “Assuredly, I say to you, among those born of women there has not risen one greater than John the Baptist; but he who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.
Faith in Jesus help us access the boldness and faith of John; the meekness of Moses; the resilience of Daniel in the lion’s den; the vision of Isaiah and Ezekiel; the revelation of apostle Paul; the restoration of Peter; the sacrificial giving of Mary; the strength of Samson, the worshipper’s heart of David and more.
9. Endure for the joy set before you.
Heb 12:2 Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
You have heard of the perseverance of Job and seen the end intended by the Lord—that the Lord is very compassionate and merciful.
Look how God dealt with Job, whose end was doubly fruitful. Who prayed for his friends and God forgave them, then they brought him gifts and God blessed Job and his family, and his possessions. In that era there was none like him. Job endured unimaginable distress and suffering through the trial of his faith. His own wife told him to curse God and die! His friends accused him and gave him pious advice that ended up being useless. A young man admonished him and then God spoke to him and Job put his hand over his mouth. When you are going through a trial of your faith, watch what you say, especially in God’s presence.
10. Confess that the Lord is compassionate and merciful. Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God. Get the scriptures and prophecies made concerning you trial out in front of you, on the wall, where you can see it and read it and confess it every day.
Rom 10:10 For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. See also Romans 10:17
To conclude, enduring the trial of your faith is a great moment in your life of God’s approval. While you are going through it is feels like it never ends, but then every battle you have ever won reaches that point. Just remember your enemy has no idea what you are thinking and can only react to how you believe.
Repent of any agreement with doubt and fear and despair. Silence the voices in your head that tell you it’s useless, it’s too late; you’ll never see your promises materialize.
Faith substance transcends logic and reason and sparks new life in the midst of a trial.
Ou start seeing sparks of light in the darkness and Jesus intercedes on your behalf while you are going through the trial of your faith – he even prayed for Peter when the devil was sifting him, that his faith may not fail! In the end, even though Peter betrayed Jesus three times, Jesus asked him if he loved him, three times – Jesus gave Peter the option of full restoration and a chance to redeem himself. Even if you have an ounce of faith left, God can used that to destroy your enemy in a supernova of faith! Ask yourself this question: “Do I still believe in God’s Word about my life?” If the answer is: “yes!” then you win the trial – it is an extended test of what you believe, remember? The point is that in this trial of your faith, at the end of the day, you win!