• October Study

Faith: Tried & True

We find in scripture many references to having our faith tested. Faith is the currency of the kingdom (see Matt 9:29 | Heb 11:6) and in order to mature and become fruitful in Christ our faith must be proven to be genuine.

Let’s begin in James 1:2-3

My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.

The word temptation here (as defined by Strong's lexicon) refers to:

  1. The trial of man’s fidelity, integrity, virtue, constancy (through the enticement to sin)

  2. Adversity, affliction, trouble: sent by God to test or prove one’s character, faith, holiness.

*God does not tempt us with evil, but He does prove us with trouble* (James 1:13, Job 2:3)

So, temptations and trials/afflictions will develop in us godly character and proves our faith to be genuine. We see clear examples of this in the life of Jesus;

Jesus in the wilderness (facing temptation) - Luke 4:1-13

He was tempted to eat (fulfilling the lust of the flesh), jump from a high place (fulfilling the pride of life), and worship satan in exchange for counterfeit authority in the earth (fulfilling the lust of the eyes).

In temptation the enemy is saying to us,“If you are a son of God...”

We can be tempted to quit, be disobedient, try to prove ourselves, tempted to sin, to have something before the appointed time, to blame God or others, or believe a lie over the truth

Jesus in the garden of Gethsemane – the Cross (facing affliction) - Luke 22:47- 23:46 | Isaiah 53

Jesus suffered excruciating physical pain, the pain of rejection and betrayal, the pain of separation from the Father and much more.

In affliction the Lord is asking & proving; “Do you love me more than these?”

Do we love God even when we are suffering loss, rejection, betrayal, mockery, shame & humiliation?

Do we love Him more than people, their approval, our desires etc. Do we love Him more than our comfort?

Jesus overcame temptation and trial with His understanding of the scriptures, and of the Father’s Will. He knew and was secure in His identity. He knew what was promised to Him and demonstrated perfectly complete trust in God’s plan & timing.

It is in the midst of temptation and trials that we learn obedience (the proof of our love for God), and come to know God more intimately, so we should not be afraid of these seasons but rather find joy in knowing that we will develop a deeper walk with the Lord.

Can you stand the fire?

Knowing that our faith will be tried, how can we actively seek to prepare our hearts to pass the tests? How do we remain strong and endure these seasons?

In temptation;

James 1:14 – But every man is tempted, when He is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed.

Lust can be defined as evil desires, or desire out of control. One of the keys to overcoming temptation is learning to master our desires through submission – submit to God, resist the devil. Not every desire we have is evil, but when we surrender our desires to God (both godly and fleshly desires) and let Him sift through our motives and purify them, we are better able to resist being lured, enticed and falling into the temptation.

Galatians 5:16 also reminds us that if we walk in the Spirit, we will not fulfil the lusts of the flesh. We walk in the Spirit through continual obedience. Other helpful scriptures;

Psalm 119:11 - Your word I have treasured and stored in my heart, That I may not sin against You.

1 Corinthians 10:13 - But God is faithful [to His Word and to His compassionate nature], and He [can be trusted] not to let you be tempted and tried and assayed beyond your ability and strength of resistance and power to endure, but with the temptation He will [always] also provide the way out (the means of escape to a landing place), that you may be capable and strong and powerful to bear up under it patiently.

In trials;

Luke 8:11-13 – Now the meaning of the parable is this: The seed is the Word of God.

Those along the traveled road are the people who have heard; then the devil comes and carries away the message out of their hearts, that they may not believe (acknowledge Me as their Savior and devote themselves to Me) and be saved [here and hereafter].

And those upon the rock [are the people] who, when they hear [the Word], receive and welcome it with joy; but these have no root. They believe for a while, and in time of trial an