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1/20/16 - God intentionally tests your faith through suffering

Published: Wednesday, 20 January 2016 Written by Carlton L. Arnold

In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.   1 Peter 1:6-7

Do you see two great spiritual truths in these Bible verses?

1. You will have to suffer grief in all kinds of trials.

2.  When you are suffering, you are to greatly rejoice.

      These two spiritual truths beg the question, “How can I rejoice greatly when suffering?”  Jesus rejoiced greatly at the death of Lazarus because His father was to be glorified after the resurrection of Lazarus.  The angels rejoiced at the birth of Christ although His life would lead to the cross.  As human beings, we have limited insight into the spiritual things that impact us.  Maybe this is why spiritual growth seems so slow and difficult? 

God’s spiritual insight is complete and without error.  He sees the future end product of His children who are mature in the faith and can actually encourage others during the most difficult of times.  Personally, I know that God has provided encouragement to me through the growth in faith that occurred while others were growing through suffering.  At the same time, I have been told about my encouragement to others with my personal suffering.  What is interesting about this encouragement is that it must come from the Holy Spirit, because I am praying and suffering during my own suffering.  Even Jesus knew that He must suffer so that we might be encouraged through His suffering.  If you can see this, then you are probably experiencing the word “encouragement”, and your faith is being tested to strengthen it.

 

There are more spiritual truths in these two Bible verses:

1.  Your faith is much more valuable than gold

2.  Sufferings purify and strengthens your faith

As Believers, we do not meditate on the truth that things of the Spirit are more valuable than three-dimensional worldly objects.  God is amazing in declaring this truth in His sovereignty.  All Believers should be asking the Holy Spirit to reveal that things of this world have less value than the things of the Spirit.  We cannot have fellowship with God without living out this truth in our daily lives.  At the same time, God has made it clear that our faith should increase in purity.  This truly excites me that God has made this possible.  My faith comes from God through tests and sufferings.  My faith continues to be strengthened as I realize that the suffering is intended to encourage others. Faith without any impurities is the goal that God has set for each of us.  He allows sufferings to remove the impurities of my faith.  With the world so unbelievably contaminated, I yearn for the purity of my faith.

The final spiritual truth is that your genuine faith results in praise, honor, and glory for Jesus.  Whenever I make that statement, I believe that it is the ultimate in moving closer to God.  Without removing our faith impurities, I do not see how we can grow closer to God.  I want to be near God, and I hope you do too!  Therefore, accept the sufferings so that your faith continues to be refined and become purer and purer    

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