“FAITH BEYOND THE TEST,”
“Faith is putting all your eggs in God’s basket, then counting your blessings before they hatch.”—Ramona C. Carroll “Kingdom faith guarantees that there is life beyond the test. Faith, therefore, is the most important power we possess for successful living. Education isn’t enough. A Ph.D. won’t help much during times of stress. Book “learning alone is of little use for a life that is falling apart. The only thing that can save us in the midst of turmoil and chaos is our faith.
Faith creates our confidence in life; our level of confidence is directly linked to the degree of faith we possess. Confidence is an attitude of positive approach. Remaining positive in the midst of a negative environment requires faith: the conviction that the negatives are only temporary and do not reflect the true picture. Only a person of faith can smile in the face of danger. Only a person of faith can be calm in the middle of a storm. Only a person of faith can maintain a good attitude in the midst of negativity.
Therefore, as we have already seen, our faith is manifested by the tests it encounters. In other words, testing reveals the quality and depth of our faith. Bragging about our faith impresses no one; our faith is proven in the midst of challenges. This is why God allows testing. Testing awakens our dormant faith so that it becomes active, manifesting itself in every area of our lives. We will never know how much faith we “we have or how strong it is until it is tested.
Our faith is only as strong as the tests it survives. And remember, God will not allow us to be tested beyond our ability to overcome (see 1 Cor. 10:13). This means that God controls the measure of tests. At the same time, however, we must be careful not to confuse the tests that God allows with the tests that we bring upon ourselves. James, the Lord’s brother, explained the difference this way:
Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.
When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He tempt anyone; but each “one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.
Don’t be deceived, my dear brothers. Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows (James 1:12-17).
James makes a clear distinction between trials and temptations. In this case, trials are the common tests that come our way as part of life and that God allows for the proving and maturing of our faith. Temptations are the tests and troubles we bring on ourselves by our own sinful or foolish actions and decisions—the natural consequences of our inappropriate choices. Unchecked, these will bring destruction into our lives. They will result in deterioration, not growth. “So before you identify a challenge or difficulty in your life as a test from God, examine yourself to make sure you haven’t created the problem yourself due to wrong behavior. If such is the case, confession and repentance is the proper course of action. Don’t feel “noble” about bearing up under a trial you caused by your own sin. Humble yourself before God, confess your sin, and lay hold of His forgiveness.
Our ability to discern the source of the tests in our lives is critical to our ability to live successfully beyond the tests. Self-induced tests will tear us down while the tests God allows builds us up and strengthens our faith—if we allow them to.”
vision, purpose, destiny,