Friday, March 10, 2017

Times of Trouble Create a Stronger Christian Faith






Faith defines the Christian life; it’s the force driving our perseverance, passion, and purpose. It guides actions in the temporal world, and guarantees eternal life with Christ in Heaven. In a relationship in which God gives fallen and undeserving mankind Salvation, faith is the only thing He asks from us in return.

Indeed, it’s the only thing a finite being could offer God: “For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God” (Ephesians 2:8).

Given its position of prominence in Christian life – and the role it serves in our eternal relationship with Christ – it makes sense that God regularly tests our faith.

Yet in many cases, it’s during these times of adversity and testing when the faith of Christians is most prone to fail. Could it be possible many believers simply don’t understand the nature of their faith, or the role it plays in their relationship with the God who tests it?

Scripture reveals testing and trial should come as no surprise: “The refining pot is for silver and the furnace for gold, but the Lord tests hearts” (Proverbs 17:3).

If growth and change tend to be uncomfortable (and even painful) in the physical world, imagine how much more that truth applies in the spiritual realm. The Bible is clear: those who aspire to mature in their faith must realize growth results from change, and change is the result of testing.

Through difficult testing, God is shaping believers into His image of the masterpiece He wants them to be: “But now, O Lord, You are our Father, we are the clay, and You our potter; And all of us are the work of Your hand” (Isaiah 64:8).

If the testing of faith that results in spiritual growth is a divine constant, our reaction becomes the only variable in our relationship with God; and, it’s the only thing within our control.

Blessed is a man who perseveres under trial; for once
he has been approved, he will receive the crown of
life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him.

~ James 1:12 ~

I pray that the Holy Spirit guides you in your studies, and brings you to a more intimate relationship with Jesus Christ. Have a blessed day.

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Michael I. Kaplan lectures regularly to faith-based organizations on the topics of apologetics (reasoned arguments or writings in justification of theological doctrine), biblical studies and spiritual warfare.

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