The refining pot is for silver and the furnace for gold,
But the LORD tests hearts.
NAS Proverbs 17:31
You may say, I don’t have pride. You won’t know if you have pride or not until you are tested. There are people who appear to be strong spiritually and who say, “you won’t catch me doing that.” But when they come under the test, they fail that test. Why did they fail? The reason is that pride goes before destruction and haughty spirit before a fall.
Do you know that God has a way of proving people? He is looking for those who have been tried in the fire and come through victoriously.
One person built a house on the sand, another one on the rock. The 1st house fell when the storm came, the first one fell. You know why? Because he was not prepared for that storm.
Gold has to be tried in the fire. You have to get rid of the stuff that is not gold. So they put it under extreme heat so intense that all the dross be removed except gold. Gold can take extreme heat, same way is with silver. The more He sees your potential the more He will test you. He told Israelites, “I will try you as gold is tried in the fire, because I want a people that are not messed up with something other than gold and silver, I want a pure thing, who know what they are doing and that they can come through. But I have to prove you. Sometimes those tests are pretty difficult. It is not that God does not know, He wants to make sure you understand.
Moses said to people, God will send you a prophet to prove you, he will give you a false message. Deut 13:32. The reason for that is to prove you whether you got the stuff or not. Do you have it? Do you have the discerning of spirits? Do you know what you are doing? In Ex 16:4 the Lord said, “Then said the LORD unto Moses, Behold, I will rain bread from heaven for you; and the people shall go out and gather a certain rate every day, that I may prove them, whether they will walk in my law, or not” (KJV Exodus 16:4).
I will prove you if you are going to listen to Me or not. Doubt and fear moves wrong. God has to prove us, because we get into doubt and fear.
The Lord sometimes cuts your finances off when they look like complete failure. He does not like that. But He wants to prove you. He already knows who you are, but you may not know that. And He wants you to know who you are. So He tests you.
WHEN YOUR TRUST IS TESTED
Psalm 112:7 He shall not be afraid of evil tidings: his heart is fixed, trusting in the LORD.
Proverbs 3:5 Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.
We will never know how much we trust the Lord until we are tested. Sometimes, it appears that the Lord will not come through. This is when we need to stand. Remember, life is a battle; that is why we are told “… having done all, to stand. Stand therefore” (Ephesians 6:13-14).
WHEN YOUR CONFIDENCE IS TESTED
Hebrews 10:35 Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompence of reward.
When the Hebrew writer mentions, “cast not away your confidence,” he is informing us that it is possible to give up, to quit, to fail and to lose our confidence. However, he is instructing us to hold on to that confidence. Stand fast. Refuse to question God.
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WHEN YOUR FAITH IS TESTED
Romans 4:20 He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God.
God had promised Abraham a son whose seed would be a blessed people upon the earth. Abraham struggled. You can read about his struggles in the Old Testament account. Yet, when we come to the New Testament, the account reports that he staggered not. Sometimes, our faith may be tested like Abraham’s. He waited years, and more years, but, finally, he was able to hold the promised child in his arms because he did not consider the possibility of failure.
WHEN YOUR OBEDIENCE IS TESTED
Hebrews 11:8 By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went.
James 2:23 And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God.
Abraham believed God. Why did he believe God? How did he know that the Lord was going to do him good if he obeyed? Faith is action. Abraham had to move in faith, just like we do when we face uncertain circumstances. He had to obey God whether it looked favorable or not. There was a considerable amount of uncertainty in his first move for God, but the second was even a greater test of obedience.
Genesis 22:2-3 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. And Abraham rose up early in the morning, and saddled his ass, and took two of his young men with him, and Isaac his son, and clave the wood for the burnt offering, and rose up, and went unto the place of which God had told him.
Abraham didn’t ponder, or even consider, the possibility that the Lord wouldn’t come through. He knew that he could trust the Lord. When we learn to trust the Lord, the Lord can trust us. We may face some very trying times, but there always will be victory for those who obey when they are under test. There is no substitute for obedience. Prompt obedience gets God’s attention and brings victory to us.
WHEN YOUR ATTITUDES ARE TESTED
1 Samuel 25:25 Let not my lord, I pray thee, regard this man of Belial, even Nabal: for as his name is, so is he; Nabal is his name, and folly is with him: but I thine handmaid saw not the young men of my lord, whom thou didst send.
1 Chronicles 16:22 Saying, Touch not mine anointed, and do my prophets no harm.
Nabal may have never known what his attitudes were like deep down inside, until he was tested. What makes this matter even worse, he was railing on a man who was anointed king. The results of that satanic attitude cost him his life.
When the children of Israel were tested by the lack of food and water, they failed the test. Their response was not gratitude for past provision nor faith for the future. They murmured and complained. Lack often brings fear and confusion and results in murmuring and complaining. This is definitely not the proper attitude when faced with shortage.
WHEN YOUR TOLERANCE IS TESTED
Hebrews 10:32 But call to remembrance the former days, in which, after ye were illuminated, ye endured a great fight of afflictions.
We may never know how much tolerance we have toward sin until we are tested. I am using the word “tolerance” as a negative expression rather than a positive. Many churches today appear to be more tolerant to sin than at any other time I can remember. What would happen if you were severely tested?
WHEN YOUR COURAGE IS TESTED
Joshua 1:9 Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the LORD thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.
The Lord God of Israel instructed Joshua, not only to be of good courage, but he also told him to be “very courageous” (Joshua 1:7). God emphasized the need of courage because He knew that Joshua would be tested to the limit, especially by the stiff-necked people he was called to lead into the land of promise. If we do not take a stand and encourage ourselves, we will fail. We should follow David’s example when he was facing a very trying time: “David encouraged himself in the LORD his God’ (1 Samuel 30:6).
WHEN YOUR STRENGTH IS TESTED
Philippians 4:12-13 I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.
Paul faced many difficult situations, but he was the one who penned these words, “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me” (Philippians 4: 19).
No matter what we are called to do, the Lord will give us strength to do it. It may not be easy, but it is always rewarding when we come through victoriously. I have personally been instructed of the Lord to do things for Him that seemed humanly impossible, yet, I was able to come through. I remembered that Paul said, “I can,” and I said, “I can,” only with the help of the Lord.
WHEN YOUR WEAKNESS IS TESTED
Judges 16:6, 10, 13 And Delilah said to Samson, Tell me, I pray thee, wherein thy great strength lieth, and wherewith thou mightest be bound to afflict thee … And Delilah said unto Samson, Behold, thou hast mocked me, and told me lies: now tell me, I pray thee, wherewith thou mightest be bound. .. And Delilah said unto Samson, Hitherto thou hast mocked me, and told me lies: tell me wherewith thou mightest be bound. And he said unto her, If thou weavest the seven locks of my head with the web.
Proverbs 1: 1 My son, if sinners entice thee, consent thou not.
Samson was an extremely powerful man. His physical strength superseded all others, but, in other areas, his strength was very weak. Delilah misled Samson with her deceptive inquiry to find the source of his great strength. He foolishly revealed the secret of the strength that God had given him. We may think that we are ever so strong, but unless we keep our focus on the authority of God’s word and what the Lord has to say, we will stumble and fall.
WHEN YOUR MEEKNESS IS TESTED
Matthew 23:12 And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted.
Moses had many opportunities to lose his meekness. God said that he was the meekest of all men, yet, he was tested throughout his lifetime. His own fellow leaders rose up against him and accused him of being arrogant and taking too much on himself. God came to this meek man’s rescue and verified Moses’ meekness.
Self-appointed judges will judge you based on their superiority. The “super meek” will judge you based on “super humility.” The only time you can really prove the state of your meekness is when you are tested and tried. When you are accused of being proud, how do you react? When you are suddenly exalted or someone speaks well of you, what happens?
WHEN YOUR LOVE IS TESTED
Matthew 24:12 And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.
Revelation 2:4 Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, Ephesus because thou hast left thy first love.
2 Corinthians 8:8 I speak not by commandment, but by occasion of the forwardness of others, and to prove the sincerity of your love.
The Bible tells us that charity (love) never fails. It cannot fail because it supersedes human love. God, Himself. said that He is love. Our love may be tested at times, but if it is true love, we will always come through. If you read the epistles, you will notice that Paul expressed great love for his people, but he was tested time and time again. Some of these people responded to his love with such expressions, “For his letters, say they, are weighty and powerful; but his bodily presence is weak, and his speech contemptible” (2 Corinthians 10:10). Do you think Paul’s love for such people was tested? Do you think he had a reason to become disturbed at such defaming criticism? Love may be tried again and again, but real love can stand the test.
Paul acknowledged that the more he loved the people, the less they loved him. I’m sure this was disturbing, but he was unwavering in his love. 2 Corinthians 12:15 portrays his decision, “And I will very gladly spend and be spent for you; though the more abundantly I love you, the less I be loved.”
WHEN YOUR JOY IS TESTED
Luke 6:22-23 Blessed are ye, when men shall hate you, and when they shall separate you from their company, and shall reproach you, and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of man’s sake. Rejoice ye in that day, and leap for joy: for, behold, your reward is great in heaven: for in the like manner did their fathers unto the prophets.
Most people can rejoice when everything seems to be going well, when they are well spoken of, or when people accept them for what they are. But it’s difficult to rejoice when we face rejection from those we love, when they separate themselves from us and consider us unsuitable companions. Jesus gave us what appears to be a ridiculous solution to this problem when he said leap for joy. Leaping for joy is not a magic cure, but it obviously is the answer to this situation.
The Psalmist met times in his life when his joy was tested. He expressed this by asking himself, “Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted in me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him for the help of his countenance” (Psalm 42:5). When our joy is tested, we may not always feel like praising the Lord, leaping for joy, or shouting “Hallelujah.” That does not mean we have lost our joy, but we cannot allow ourselves to be cast down. At times, those around us may disturb our joy. It is times like these that prove whether we have the joy of the Lord or some human joy that will cause us to fail.
WHEN YOUR PEACE IS TESTED
Jeremiah 8:11 For they have healed the hurt of the daughter of my people slightly, saying, Peace, peace; when there is no peace.
Colossians 3:15 And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful.
It is easy to live in peace when those around you are peaceable toward you. The real test comes when someone tries to destroy your peace. If the peace of God is ruling in your heart, that peace will see you through the hardest tests in life. When we are tested, we should pray, “0, God of peace, help us.” There is something about referring to the God of peace that helps bring the victory. We do not have to lose our peace just because others refuse to be at peace with us.
WHEN YOUR RESISTANCE IS TESTED
James 4:7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
When you are feeling good and seem to have a high level of spirituality, you believe it’s easy to resist the devil and wrong doing. Right then and there, you are falling into a trap or a snare. You are in a dangerous place. You will never be spiritual enough to overthrow satan and his techniques on your own. It is through the power of the Word, the blood and the Name of Jesus that you have the authority to stand.
You may be tested, time and again, until you feel like quitting or giving up. You may even get to the place where you just can’t take any more. This is when you must rise up and take authority over satan and his demons and demand them to flee. Boldly proclaim the Word of God, “Resist the devil and he will flee from you.” Many people have failed by not obeying the first part of that verse – submit yourselves therefore to God. They have submitted to their own fleshly desires instead. After we have submitted to God, we can follow the instructions restated in 1 Peter 5:9: Whom resist steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world.
WHEN YOUR COMMIMENT IS TESTED
John 6:65-66 And he said, Therefore said I unto you, that no man can come unto me, except it were given unto him of my Father. From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him.
Jesus had many followers when He fed them with loaves and fishes or healed them of incurable diseases, but the test of commitment came when He made the above statement. At times, truth appears to be rather harsh. Sometimes, it is shocking. When Jesus spoke these words, some could not accept them.
In Matthew 13, we have another example where commitment was tested. Throughout this parable, we find numerous responses. In the following verse, it speaks of tribulations and persecutions causing people to forget their commitment to follow the Lord: “Yet hath he not root in himself, but dureth for a while: for when tribulation or persecution ariseth because of the word, by and by he is offended’ (Matthew 13 :21).
How strong is your commitment? What would it take to lose that commitment? Over the years, I have witnessed so many people who declared that they were committed, but when the test came they did like many of the followers of Christ: “many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him.” Why did they give up? Why did they question the Messiah? Many people are committed as long as no one interferes with their traditional or theological ideas and opinions.
Even the Lord offends people when He tells them the truth. Peter was sure that his commitment to Jesus was in top condition until he was tested. It was this same man who boldly proclaimed, “No matter what happens, I’m going to stand with you.” Later, he declared he didn’t even know Christ. We must be careful not to judge Peter. We didn’t have that trial, that test. We don’t know how we would react. Sometimes, people say, “Well, I would never have done something like that.” The problem is, they have never been tested in that way. Woe for the day when those who think they can stand are tested. “Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall” (1 Corinthians 10: 12).
WHEN YOUR LOYALTY IS TESTED
Genesis 39:5 And it came to pass from the time that he [Potiphar] had made him [Joseph] overseer in his house, and over all that he had, that the LORD blessed the Egyptian’s house for Joseph’s sake; and the blessing of the LORD was upon all that he had in the house, and in the field.
Everything was going well for Joseph at Potiphar’s house. Joseph was so faithful and loyal to his master that he was trusted with everything. Little did he know that loyalty would be tested. When Potiphar’s wife unjustly lied about him, he was thrust into prison, apparently, without even a suitable trial. From Potiphar’s house to a prison experience, Joseph still held on to his loyalty. He may not have recognized the victory he had just accomplished, but the Lord promoted him in the prison. When the Lord saw this young man’s loyalty, he promoted him to the highest office he could have under Pharaoh. This young man proved to be loyal in the worst circumstance. He set a great example, not only to young people, but to all of us. God saw his loyalty and He will see ours as well.
WHEN YOUR MORALITY IS TESTED
Genesis 39:11-12 And it came to pass about this time, that Joseph went into the house to do his business; and there was none of the men of the house there within. And she caught him by his garment, saying, Lie with me: and he left his garment in her hand, and fled, and got him out.
Joseph knew the way of escape from this temptation. He fled. Proverbs 7:26 exposes the immoral operation of a harlot: “For she hath cast down many wounded: yea, many strong men have been slain by her.” It is not sin for a person to be tempted, but it is sin to yield to that temptation. Those who yield to this temptation are often ensnared to such an extent they cannot be set free. You must respond as Paul outlines in 1 Corinthians 6:18 “Flee fornication.” Temptation is something you must not ponder, meditate or consider.
WHEN YOUR DECISIONS ARE TESTED
Ecclesiastes 5:4 When thou vowest a vow unto God, defer not to pay it; for he hath no pleasure in fools: pay that which thou hast vowed.
You often hear people say, “No matter how rough may be the way, I am determined to follow Jesus.” But, when the first hard test comes, they fail. If we do not make quality decisions, we will not hold up under pressure. When your friends think you are doing the wrong thing, or have made a mistake, or that it would have been better to do it some other way, the decision will stand ONL Y if it is of the Lord.
WHEN YOUR MARRIAGE IS TESTED
Matthew 7:27 And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it.
There are marriages which have appeared to be so stable that nothing could separate the husband and wife. However, in the time of testing, they failed. Make sure your marriage is built on a firm foundation. Ask the Lord to help you make your marriage Heaven on Earth.
WHEN YOUR FORGIVENESS IS TESTED
Mark 11:26 But if ye do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses.
You may experience a test after you have forgiven someone who has trespassed against you. The devil will try to get someone to remind you of the hurts that person caused. He will try to focus your attention on the fact they have not changed in their ways, although you have forgiven them. This is when the true test begins. When you have forgiven someone, that hurt and injury is gone. It does not mean you will not remember what that individual did to you, but it does mean you will never hold that incident against that person as long as you live.
There was a time when Peter had a major problem with a brother. He asked Jesus how often he had to forgive a person who kept trespassing against him. Jesus’ answer sounded unreasonable, “Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven” (Matthew 18:22). To be straightforward, stop counting and keep forgiving.
It is obvious, we will all be tested and tried. How we respond to these tests will determine the victory or defeat. When we are functioning in the will of God, we have Heaven on our side for every situation we face.
Peter said, “Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy” (1 Peter 4: 12-13). Trials and tests are not unique to a select few. All of us will face tests. Some may face them in a more dramatic way than others. It is during these trials, tests and uncertainties that we must stand when everything seems to be going wrong.
If you are facing some situation that you do not understand or that you feel has no answer, don’t forget, the Lord has promised, “… I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee” (Hebrews 13:5). Every trial you face, the Lord is right there beside you. Every situation that looks impossible, the Lord is still there. You will never be walking on your own if you are a child of God and walking in the will of God.
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Many are on the sea of life, unprepared for what lies ahead. In the Book of Acts, we have an account of Paul, the prisoner of the Lord, sailing with his fellow passengers on a quiet sea. “And when the south wind blew softly, supposing that they had obtained their purpose, loosing thence, they sailed close by Crete” (Acts 27:13). The sun was blazing her golden splendor on the peaceful waters. The sky was adorned with an inviting, harmless blue. Everything was in place for perfect sailing conditions.
If, on a quiet sea,
Toward Heaven we calmly sail
With grateful hearts, O God to Thee,
We’ll own the favoring gale.
There was a man on board that ship who perceived danger ahead. “Sirs,” he said, “I perceive that this voyage will be with hurt and much damage, not only of the lading and ship, but also of our lives” (Acts 27: 10). Suddenly things changed. “But not long after there arose against it a tempestuous wind, called Euroclydon” (Acts 27: 14). The sea that was once calm and inviting became a raging tempest on the brink of swallowing her voyage and all that was in her.
Innumerable Believers are sailing on a quiet sea, completely unaware of the dangers that lie ahead for the church and their personal well being. Without notice, their quiet sea can change to Euroclydon.
Years ago, I came close to losing my life on the Chesapeake bay. I was alone in a small boat when the wind sent the waves higher and higher. When all hope was nearly gone, the wind blew me across the breakers to safety.
The Church is on a sea of life and many are content to believe nothing bad will happen. After all, the sea appears gentle and harmless. Everything seems alright. Pastors are declaring, “Eat drink and be merry. The Lord loves you and will rapture you out before trouble comes.” But, alas, the sea is unpredictable. The “Prophets of doom,” who are sailing with us, are warning, “I perceive that this voyage will be with hurt and much damage.” We may successfully quiet the prophets, but the sea is about to change her course.
Beloved, a storm is beginning to arise. Are we ready?
Перевод на русский язык / Translation into Russian – Вы никогда не узнаете, что вы за человек, пока не подвергнетесь испытанию
February 18-20, 2010,
Preached in MontanaЧтобы попасть на главную страницу, нажмите на заголовок сайта вверху - "Помощь свыше" или на ссылку http://noelrt.com/ - - In order to get to the home page please either click on the Header "Help from above" or on this text
- Epigraph is supplied by the webmaster [-]
- KJG Deuteronomy 13:1 If there arise among you a prophet, or a dreamer of dreams, and giveth thee a sign or a wonder, 2 And the sign or the wonder come to pass, whereof he spake unto thee, saying, Let us go after other gods, which thou hast not known, and let us serve them;
3 Thou shalt not hearken unto the words of that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams: for the LORD your God proveth you, to know whether ye love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul. [-]