Devotions from Gospel Chapel Ministries HOME SERMONS SERMON NOTES
THREE TRIALS OF FAITH
"But he knoweth the way that I take: when he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold," JOB 23:10.
Read carefully what Job said in JOB 23:10, "But he knoweth the way that I take: when he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold." My faith will be tried. How? Will I obey under extreme circumstances? Will I show love to my brethren even though they do not show love to me? The Lord sends that trial to try our faith so we have proof of the obedience of faith.
What was in Job's cup that the Lord used to try Job's faith? Not only that the Lord withdrew His presence as it is recorded in the previous verses, but another set of circumstance arose. JOB 19:12-19 says, "His troops come together, and raise up their way against me, and encamp round about my tabernacle. He hath put my brethren far from me, and mine acquaintance are verily estranged from me. [Do you understand who He sent to try Job's faith? He sent Job's friends, his own brothers and sisters who became as his adversaries]. My kinsfolk have failed, and my familiar friends have forgotten me. They that dwell in mine house, and my maids, count me for a stranger: I am an alien in their sight. I called my servant, and he gave me no answer; I intreated him with my mouth. My breath is strange to my wife, though I intreated for the children's sake of mine own body. Yea, young children despised me; I arose, and they spake against me. All my inward friends abhorred me: and they whom I loved are turned against me."
Do you see the severe trial of faith Job endured? In such circumstances what was Job's response? Did Job respond with bitterness? No, he turned his face to the Lord; he looked to find the Lord's purpose in the events taking place. His troops came together. Whose troops? The Lord's troops came for the purpose of trying his faith. Under such a test, how would you respond? Would you turn to the Lord as Job did?
There are many ways in which faith is tried.
(1) It is tried by Divine commands. God tries the obedience of faith.
(2) Faith is often tried by doubts and fears.
(3) Faith is tried by fire: the fire of discipline, of persecution, or of prolonged bodily affliction and illness.
The greatest trial of faith that was ever endured was a trial of the obedience of faith. If we fail the test of obedience, we have no faith of any value. Any faith more precious than gold or silver is the faith that can stand the test. Now let's examine the greatest trial of the obedience of faith that was ever endured which is recorded in PHI 2:8, "And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross." You see, the obedience of faith, i.e., to humble one's self and become obedient unto death even the death of the cross, is the greatest trial into which any person can ever be placed. "For in that he died, he died unto sin once: but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God. Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord," ROM 6:10-11.
The blessedness of this obedience of faith was a mystery which was kept secret from the foundation of the world, "But now is made manifest, and by the scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, made known to all nations for the obedience of faith: To God only wise, be glory through Jesus Christ for ever. Amen," ROM 16:26.
The mystery revealed was that the Lord Jesus humbled Himself and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. It was in the way of obedience that He paid the penalty of sin.
"Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you," JOH 15:14, i.e., the friendship between God and Abraham, the father of the faithful. Was Abraham truly the friend of God? (cf., JAM 2:23). How did he prove it? (cf., JAM 2:21). It was proven by the obedience of faith as we see in GEN 22:1, "And it came to pass after these things, that God did tempt Abraham [`God did prove Abraham,' as it reads in the original], and said unto him, Abraham: and he said, Behold, here I am."
So how did God prove Abraham? He did it with a trial of obedience! Take notice that it was this trial of obedience where Abraham was proven to be the father of the faithful. He stood the trial. GEN 22:2 says, "And he said, Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest, and get thee into the land of Moriah; and offer him there for a burnt offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of."
After Abraham had stood the trial of obedience, God showed how He was pleased by the reward He gave Abraham for his obedience of faith. We must understand what faith is. First, we must believe "that He is," then know that "He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him." (cf., HEB 11:6). Here in GEN 22:15-18 we see the reward; "And the angel of the LORD called unto Abraham out of heaven the second time, And said, By myself have I sworn, saith the LORD, for because thou hast done this thing, and hast not withheld thy son, thine only son: That in blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which is upon the sea shore; and thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies; And in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because thou hast obeyed my voice."
God the Father was so pleased with such obedience and surrender to His will. Abraham's sacrifice was a type of the Lord Jesus Christ being able to give up His all, to sacrifice His own life's blood, as an act of obedience. This was a type of that blessed obedience. Abraham passed the trial of faith. Amen.
My Jesus, as thou wilt! O may thy will be mine;
Into thy hand of love I would my all resign.
Through sorrow, or through joy, conduct me as thine own;
And help me still to say, my Lord, thy will be done.
My Jesus, as thou wilt! Though seen through many a tear,
Let not my star of hope grow dim or disappear.
Since thou on earth hast wept, and sorrowed oft alone,
If I must weep with thee, my Lord, thy will be done.
My Jesus as thou wilt! All shall be well for me;
Each changing future scene I gladly trust with thee.
Strait to my home above I travel calmly on,
And sing, in life or death, "My Lord, thy will be done."
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