“A person’s faith is not judged by what he says about it, but what he does about it.” (What is your faith producing?)
Faith keeps the man who keeps the faith. ® Faith keeps you in the battle
® Faith keeps you focused
® Faith keeps you on track
Faith helps us walk fearlessly, run confidently and live victoriously.
1 Peter 1:7a (NLT) “These trails will show that your Faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold.” – Not to defeat us BUT to Empower us!
The Bible repeatedly says that God has promised to meet our needs.
Philippians 4:19 (NIV) And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus.
But there is something we tend to overlook…
The Bible also says that with every promise there is a condition.
One of the conditions of this promise is that you have to trust God*. (*Simply means have faith)
The more you trust God the more God is able to meet needs in your life.
So how can you learn to trust God more so He can meet all your needs?
Who would want a greater faith?
Jude 1:3 (NIV) – Dear friends, although I was very eager to write to you about the salvation we share, I felt I had to write and urge you to contend for the faith that was once for all entrusted to the saints.
You don’t get faith just by coming to church or sitting in a home cell bible discussion group.
Faith is like a muscle; it develops by being used. The more you use your Faith the more it gets stretched.
The more you’ll experience God’s abundant blessings in your life.
We call the circumstances that God creates to stretch our faith “TRAILS”
1 Peter 1:7 (NIV) These trails will show that your faith is genuine.
I want us to look at four common trails that God uses to test our Faith. (Can I say You are in one of them now.)
The key is to “Go through them” ® Come out as Pure Gold.
#1 The Pressure Test
The pressure test asks the question: “How will you handle stress?”
Will you depend on yourself and look to others in your time of stress?
Psalm 50:15 (Amp) “Call on Me in the day of trouble; I will rescue you, and you shall honor and glorify ME.”
What an example Jesus set for us ® Hebrews 5:7-8 (NIV) 7During the days of Jesus’ life on earth, he offered up prayers and petitions with loud cries and tears to the one who could save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverent submission. 8Although he was a son, he learned obedience from what he suffered*.
*For too many become disobedient and give up when we suffer.
Do you turn to God when you’re facing trouble – AND NOT to other things?
#2 The People Test
God often uses people in your life to test and stretch and develop your faith. (Iron sharpens Iron)
How do you handle disappointments?
Life is full of disappointments in: Careers, Marriages, our Plans don’t turn out as we hoped…. But the most disappointing this in life is people. (Why?)
Because we expect people to meet the needs that only God Himself can meet. (This is a test)
Your problem is not the people in your life… Your problem is your response to the people in your life….
We expect people to behave better- when they don’t we become very disappointed.
God can be the only constant in our lives.
Jeremiah 17:7 (NLT) But blessed are those who trust in the Lord and have made the Lord their hope and confidence.
What happens if we trust the Lord… God promises us.
Isaiah 49:23 (NIV) “Those that hope in me will not be disappointed.”
#3 The Persistence* Test (*Deurdruk / Aanhou)
Because of the Pressure Test & People Test we faith the Persistence Test.
The persistence test answers the question: “Will I keep my commitments?”
Life is about making commitments. The real problem we have today is that many Christians are half-committed to far too many things.
Instead of being totally committed to one or two things in life that really matter for now and eternity.
Psalm 119:10 (MSG) I’m single-minded in pursuit of you; don’t let me miss the road signs you’ve posted.
Weak people make excuses – Wise people find the time and way to do what they say they will do.
Persistence is a test of Character
#4 The Priorities Test
This is the most important test and it asks: “Who will be first in your life?”
How do you know if God is really first priority in your life?
Ask yourself three questions: 1. What do you think about most of the time?
2. Where does your money go first?
3. How do you spend your time?
Quote: Our life is the Sum total of all the decisions we make every day and those decisions are determined by our priorities. – Myles Munroe
Your answers will reveal the priorities in your life.
Matthew 6:33 (NIV) But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.
Philippians 1:10 (NLT) For I want you to understand what really matters, so that you may live pure and blameless lives until the day of Christ’s return.
God wants us to be clear minded about what is important.
“We don’t just drift in good directions. We discipline and prioritize ourselves there.” – Andy Stanly
How did you do in these 4 tests? #1 Pressure Test
#2 People Test
#3 Persistence Test
#4 Priorities Test
Stay faithful there’s a promise ® James 1:12 (NLT) God blesses those who patiently endure testing and temptation. Afterward they will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.