2 Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, 3 for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. 4 And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.
What are trials?
Trials test Hope, Health, or Holiness
Trials are moments when the spirit that we’ve been empowered with can be demonstrated to us and through us…
Job: He was a man of God that Satan was allowed to test, with the only rule that Job could not be touched. Satan goes on to take everything from him (externally). After Satan seeks to destroy his faith, Job is challenged internally with whether or not he should curse God. In the end, God wins…
Joseph: After being sold into slavery by all his brothers, Joseph eventually ends up in Egypt as a trusted servant to Potiphar, who is a member of the Pharaoh’s officials. One day, his wife approaches Joseph, and when he denies her, she accuses him falsely of attempted rape. Joseph is then sent to prison, where he finds favor with the guards, eventually interprets dreams for Pharaoh, is promoted to Prime Minister over night, and is then able to not only save a nation but redeem the same brothers that sold him into slavery at the beginning of the story. In the midst of it all, Joseph knew that the Lord had guided each step, each turn, and each trial, and he never lost faith.
Just like in these two stories, trials prove our faith, not produce it. The main point is not necessarily that we hold tight to Christ, but that He holds tightly to us.
Even though God allows suffering, He redeems it, and He has proven that He is willing to walk through it with us.
What do trials mean is most religions and different schools of thought?
2) Means to Achieve Salvation
3) An Illusion to Be Escaped (have to be enlightened to be above it)
4) Result of a Purposeless Universe Where Nobody Cares
Christianity is the only Religion where the Savior Walked Through Those Same Trials, In order to ensure that suffering itself becomes the sufferer in the end…
“We are saved by faith alone, but the faith that saves is never alone…”
Spiritual apathy is another trial, because it seeks to rob us of our holiness. We are saved by faith, but the journey does not end there. Because we have faith, we are encouraged to walk with a new yoke, with the help of Christ. Walking with Christ allows us the ability to complete each task with purpose and steadfastness. Only with Christ walking with us can we dwell in joy.
- Trials are not some judicious test that we must pass to gain God’s Love.
- We must make our faith and our behavior inseparable.
- The one to whom we pray, walked through all trials with steadfastness, AND, His power dwells in us…
“The Joy of the Lord is my strength. The Joy of the Lord is my strength. In the darkness I’ll dance. In the shadows, I’ll sing. The Joy of the Lord is my Strength.”
-Rend Collective- Joy of the Lord
Adapted from a Sermon by Kyle Besmears, at the People of Mars Hill Church