Tests and Trials of the Faithful

 

God is always faithful, and speaks life through His Living Word with authority and power for those who will hear Him.  During my recent prayers, the Lord gave me a revelation through the testing experiences of Job.  May I now humbly share this with you.

The Lord convicted me in faith and strengthened my trust in Him through the following revelation which I know is useful to help us prepare ourselves to face the trials and the challenges ahead.  I pray this revelation will also be a blessing and source of renewed hope for all who read this.  May we be strengthened and encouraged in faith as we remember Acts 14:22 in which says: “We must endure many hardships to get into the Kingdom of God.”

Job, was a man who loved God.  He was faithful and obedient, blameless and upright, yet God allowed Satan to attack him, to test him.  This testing resulted in dramatic life changes for Job; turning him from riches to rags and eventually restoring him back to riches again.  In this process and during his painful trials, Job lost his entire family, his wealth, livestock, servants and home.  Further, God also allowed Satan to attack him physically, causing him to endure painful sores.  Not only did Job suffer sickness, loneliness, disappointment, and death of his family, he also suffered accusations from his friends, for sins he had not committed.  The Lord also reminded me of First Thessalonians 3:3b..so no one would be shaken by these persecutions.  Indeed, you yourselves know that we were destined for this.”

In our weaknesses, the Lord has continuously reminded us to fix our eyes on Him and remain faithful; for He will sustain us.  This message is clear and has always been made clear, from cover to cover of the Bible.  Although we live in a world which is filled with ungodliness, wickedness, temptations, injustice, persecution and sufferings, God is still and will always be in control; for while Satan is allowed by Him to inflict sufferings on God’s people for purposes only known to God, our mighty and glorious God is still holding tight to Satan’s leash.  There is, therefore, a limit to what Satan is allowed to do.  The Lord also drew my attention to Exodus 20:20 where Moses told the people, “Do not fear, for God has come to test you, that the fear of Him may be before you, that you may not sin” and this is confirmed in Job 28:28 which says: “Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom, and to turn away from evil is understanding”.

In the New Testament, the Lord further reminds us in First Peter 4:12-14 where Peter wrote to us as part of the Church of Christ: “Dear friends, do not be surprised by the fiery ordeal that is taking place among you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you.  Instead, because you are participating in the sufferings of Christ, keep on rejoicing, so that you may be glad and shout for joy when his glory is revealed.  If you are insulted because of the name of Christ, you are blessed, for the glorious Spirit of God is resting on you”.

As we trust in and obey our eternal and faithful God during our trials and sufferings, let us continue to honour Him and to praise Him!!  For Psalm 66:8-12 clearly and wonderfully teaches us to Bless our God, O peoples; let the sound of his praise be heard, who has kept our soul among the living and has not let our feet slip.  For you, O God, have tested us; you have tried us as silver is tried.  You brought us into the net; you laid a crushing burden on our backs; you let men ride over our heads; we went through fire and through water; yet you have brought us out to a place of abundance”.   Acts 16:24-26 confirms continued praise as the correct action for Christians in times of trouble; for Peter and Silas were “in the inner prison and had fastened their feet in the stocks.  About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them, and suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken.  And immediately all the doors were opened, and everyone’s bonds were unfastened.”

Dear Family of God, the Lord is giving us loud, clear and very timely warnings for us to prepare to face the trials and challenges which will soon be upon us.  This is also why The Lord also spoke to me about “Obedience,” which I have shared with you in my last posting. The Lord reminded me that our spiritual journey with Him is getting harder and more challenging, as ungodliness in this world grows more rampant.  Also growing and allowing this ungodliness to reap havoc among Christians, is the enemy’s deception.  Satan’s deception can be subtle, yet be powerful in its resulting influence, and it is causing terrible damage in the belief systems of many of God’s people.  The Lord is saying loudly that as and when the faithful of God rise up, the battle will get more intense.

Second Timothy 3:12-15 confirms this, “indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted, while evil people and impostors will go on from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived.  But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus”.  Amen!

The Lord led me to what it will cost us in discipleship to be on His side in this battle.  But our costs are nothing compared to what the He has done and paid for us on the cross; a reminder is in John 15:18-20 where Jesus tells us that “if the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.  Remember the word that I said to you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’  If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you.  If they kept my word, they will also keep yours”.

The Lord is calling us to remain strong and faithful, confirming in First Peter 4:16-19 that “yet if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in that name.  For it is time for judgement to begin at the household of God; and if it begins with us, what will be the outcome for those who do not obey the gospel of God?  And if the righteous is scarcely saved, what will become of the ungodly and the sinner?  Therefore let those who suffer according to God’s will entrust their souls to a faithful Creator while doing good.”

The Lord continues to speak very loudly to me, strengthening me with that which I now share with you from Luke 12:4-5: “I tell you, my friends, do not fear those who kill the body, and after that have nothing more that they can do. But I will warn you whom to fear: fear Him who, after He has killed, has authority to cast into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear Him!”  He also reminded me of the words of David, in Psalm 125:1 for “they who trust in Jehovah shall be like Mount Zion; it is not shaken, but remains forever”.

Amid His warnings to us, the Lord also gives strengthening words upon which we can hope and trust.  For in Revelation 3:10-11, He tells us that because you have kept My Word about patient endurance, I will keep you from the hour of trial that is coming on the whole world, to try those who dwell on the earth.  I am coming soon.  Hold fast what you have, so that no one may seize your crown.”

Saints and family of God, let us raise our voices in praise to the Lord and remain in a constant attitude of worship in all areas of our lives.  Let us be prayerful and faithful under all circumstances, continuously examining ourselves before the Lord for as Second Peter 2:9 says: “the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from trials, and to keep the unrighteous under punishment until the Day of Judgment”.

May the good Lord bless you and keep you safe in the shadow of His wings.  Amen!

 

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