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Sunday: Faith Lasts — 31 Comments

  1. In some scriptural passages it almost seems like suffering is something to be invited into the Christian’s life (James 1:2; Romans 5:3; 2 Corinthians 12:9, 10). We know not all suffering is consistent with Christ-likeness (1 Peter 4:15, 16). However is the approved form of suffering to be desired? Shall we pray for it?

    Although trouble and trials help with increased patience and character development in the faithful there is another reason for emphasizing the right attitude towards suffering. Certainly Christ did not need pain for character development, at least not any more than the perfect Adam before the fall. Affliction was not a part of the original plan and will one day end (Revelation 21:4).

    God could shield the righteous from suffering, and He does to some extent. Still it is necessary for the faithful to have an experiential taste of the effects of sin, so they may better appreciate why God has to deal with sin and sinners as He has and will.

    As well when we carry out God’s commission as He instructs the enraged dragon will attack the saints fiercely (Revelation 12:12). Some may suppose it is okay to calculate the effect on themselves of sharing the straight testimony of scripture, and choose an easier way. They will not expose themselves to even a little suffering (ridicule), but instead only share what might be pleasing to the hearers, reasoning that the word needs to be merely attractive. We are not given such an option. Jesus requires us to share the undiluted truth. This along with a godly life will itself invite persecution and suffering (2 Timothy 3:12).

    To this end it is necessary to brace for suffering; and even embrace it (1 Peter 4:12, 13). It will be worth it after all (Romans 8:18), and we may rejoice even now.

    (36)
  2. It IS too much to ask us to "rejoice" in our trials and persecution unless we have the "Faith of Jesus." This faith can do supernatural things in our life. All we have to do to get it is to choose Jesus. Choose the Spirit of Jesus because then His Faith is brought into our experience in any issue we choose Him to drive (motivate) us through.

    If we don't choose the motivation of Jesus, we have to go it alone. Eventually we find we can't do it so we contrive many theories or mechanisms of thinking and getting away from the stress so we can try to do it ourselves. But Jesus will make it easy for us if we will just ask Him to come into our hearts by His Spirit. This choice to admit our inability and ask for His Spirit seems to be the hardest part. After we admit Him to be the motivation in the issue it becomes easy.

    (17)
  3. One of the ways to rejoice in trails, is when you remember about your past trials, how God has successfully led you through that trial. And, to recollect how that trials increased your faith and developed your character to be more like that of Jesus'. So you can be sure that a new trail is definitely going to bring out something good in your life(Romans 8:28).

    (32)
    • I agreed, I had gone to some very hard trials in my life and after the past the outcome always had been a greater blessing then the trial I had have. Looking back I thanked The Lord for allowing that trail in my life and I had been able to testified about God great merci for me for during the trials I had felt his protecting hand holding my.

      Glory be to God for ever and ever,

      Amen!

      (12)
  4. What kind of trials test our faith?
    Are we talking about health, financial, interapersonal trials?
    If faith is our trust and belief in Jesus as our Creator and Redeemer what kind of trial can test our faith?
    Why do we follow Jesus? Because of fear of punishment? NO! Because of hope of reward, health and wealth? NO!
    It is because of who He is, His character, His worldview, His divine power. Theses attributes draw us to Him, we want to be with Him, to be like Him.

    So what will test that kind of faith? Could it possibly something that seems to cause us to doubt His character? What if we have the wrong idea about what His character is?
    What if we believe that He will always heal us completely? Then we are not healed? We would think he had let us down?
    We need to really known Him and His character so that we can really trust and believe in Him.

    (17)
  5. To be happy about suffering would be an awesome task if we tried to make rules for it. If we made a list of activities that would show that we were 'rejoicing' in trials.

    Loving Christ as we do, trusting His Word as we do, rejoicing in trials isn't so much an overwhelming task as it is an outgrowth of an experience. As we embrace intimately the suffering servant Who gives us so many spiritual rights by binding us to God, we can't help but in gratefulness accept a minute portion of His suffering.

    We have to remember that Godly suffering doesn't come without gifts and favors from God. It brings with it an even more intimate walk with Christ and an appreciation for Him as the sacrificial'Lamb of God'. We can have a deeper love relationship with Him as we understand better what great love He has for us. His love involved choosing anguish and pain to fix the sin problem we caused rather than immediate destruction. We can all rejoice in the process that changes us into His perfect image. The process that involves suffering.

    (11)
  6. As I think about rejoicing in trials it seems to me that we could think of it as some sort of rite of passage or something that God puts us through in order to test our faith but something doesn’t seem right about that kind of thinking. God already knows what we will do under a certain set of circumstances so to Him testing is a waste of time. Besides, as we will see in another lesson God doesn’t tempt anyone. He is not in the business of stressing us out.

    I think Peter hints at the best way to look at it, “Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you; but rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ's sufferings” (1 Pet 4:12-13 NKJV). Those that never have trials are the ones that never excite the devil and are content to let the proverbial sleeping lion sleep. That doesn't mean that we should force trials but rather that if we are living the life God intended then trails will come because Satan has a problem with people that live like that.

    (11)
  7. Webster's Dictionary defines "rejoice" as 1. To give joy to; gladden. 2. To feel joy.
    On a personal level, "rejoicing" in trials is an opportunity to demonstrate faith and confidence in God's ability to take care of my situation. It's resisting the temptation to solve the problem on my own without God's counsel. It's choosing to make God my "Anchor" through studying Scripture, committing Bible verses to memory that address my situation and claiming those promises by faith. A few of my favorite verses in the Bible are Job 23:10,Ephesians 6:10-13,Romans 5:3-6, Isaiah 40:31,Galatians 6:9 and Psalm 141:8.

    (9)
  8. Rejoicing in the depths of the dark night of the soul will bring space enough into your existence where a complete surrender is available. A space to find stillness, a calm, as when death draws near, death of the old self(ego). Romans 6:6 /Philippians 4:4

    (2)
  9. boy, boy do I feel inadequate after reading the comments. I have a long way to go. Apart from suffering depression from post traumatic experiences, I am overwhelmed by crisis. I reach out desperately to my Christ and in faith know and believe He will never let me go through trials alone. I cling to Him for strength and courage but the experience is still overwhelming and I lose strength in myself. I collapse in my own pain and am discouraged. I discover later in time that God upheld me all the way and saw me through it all.I need His love, strong and caring ,arms and friendship so much. I need Him to give my life meaning and a future. I need Him to make sense of my existence. I need Him to breathe. I have a long way to go but never without my Lord. I cannot and will not give Him up. Please pray for all souls that cling to Christ and are hanging in there sometimes by their teeth. However they keep on clinging.....

    (30)
    • I hear you and can identify. Continue to hold on to Jesus and keep your eyes on Him. You see when we rejoice our minds are removed from the physical present to the spiritual present and future. I can tell you yesterday, I felt so very discouraged. I have the chik-v virus and I had pains all over my body and I couldn't walk. Many times I felt like shouting out to the top of my voice "I hate my life!!!" but The Spirit put a cover over my mouth and lulled me to sleep. I couldn't even worship yesterday and you know what God was patient with me. However, this morning, the pains are gone and He brought me to His feet and I'm here reviewing the Lesson. I thank Him soo much for it. I just have the high fever now but it will go. Praise my Lord!!!

      (8)
    • I had post traumatic stress syndrome for five years in the nineties. The psychiatrist said that it would slowly go away and that in three years most of the symptoms would be gone and in five it would be entirely gone. I tried my hardest to make it go away sooner… looking back, I made the biggest mistakes of my life during that time period. I was super vulnerable, lacked discernment, was super insecure, and welcomed help from those I thought had it spiritually all together, thus when I thought God was leading, I was being led into great sin. I would have made less mistakes simply resting in God, trusting God, and waiting for Him to heal my nervous system.

      (0)
  10. This past Sabbath, I was visiting my cousin who is having cancer surgery on Monday. She lives with her other cousin who is an unbeliever. He is an unbeliever because of what he says is hypocrisy in the church. He is also an unbeliever because he lost two wives to death. One might could say he experienced sufferings and he did not count it joy. I have learned that most Christians do not do well with sufferings. Many will jump ship and shake their fist at God. I know, because I did. Only one who is rooted and grounded in God's word and in a strong personal relationship will be able to count any discomfort as an opportunity to glorify God by responding in a Christ-like fashion. It seems the context of suffering is "suffering for the sake of God's kingdom." Many of us have normal lives and do not suffer because of our belief. But, when the time comes, our daily walk with the Lord will continue in the faith our Lord has provided each day to make us stronger. We will rest on the solid rock of His strength.

    (6)
  11. Dear all.
    Mine is a question. Since God knows the end from the beginning and he also knows us more than how we know ourselves, Does he need a test to prove the genuineness of our faith? If we take the scenario of how a teacher gives a test to student, Can that mean the same to God?

    (1)
    • I think sometimes tests are to help us see where we are in our walk with the Lord, or sometimes it is so we are a witness to others, and even to other worlds.

      Eph 3:10 to the intent that now unto the principalities and the powers in the heavenly places might be made known through the church the manifold wisdom of God,
      Eph 3:11 according to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord:

      (2)
    • No, Pysty, God doesn't need to test us to know our faith. But we need the tests for our sake - to understand whether or not we have a genuine connection with Christ. And in my experience, trials in life have always been a time of a growth in faith.

      The type of experience Silvana shared is what draws us closer to Jesus- if we choose. But for that to happen in our lives, we must make the same choice Silvana made.

      It is totally our choice whether trials become stumbling blocks or stepping stones to greater faith.

      (1)
  12. God allows us through the furnace of affliction so that He can have us refined. Our faith is perfected through the trials that we go through and anything that perfects our faith in the Lord should not bring us sorrow but rejoicing

    (2)
  13. Silvana, I like you thought I was on the wrong thread, the Lord has done MARVELOUS things in my life, I have buckled under most of them. Through it all I knew God, was still there and will always be there, but I had to cry out for MERCY many times, and I am not ashamed. Maybe, I am not there yet, but trials to me has a grieving process, which means we all have to thoroughly considered the moment we are in, surrender our unbelief during the process and ask for faith, strength and guidance to overcome and not succumb.

    I have gained strength from all my trials, do I still have doubts when new ones arise? yes, but I have come to the understanding and satisfaction that God is able and all I have to do is believe. Praying more during my trials have always made them easier to bear, and it also makes the problem or burden lighter, not eradicate them, but give me the patience and assurance that God will help me to see it through.

    (6)
    • Bev, I would say that your experience with the trials that you have encountered and the way you have dealt with them is similar to many of us. Our faith is severely tested and we go through an emotional rollercoaster. Joy is not what we feel.
      Many if not most, want to know why? When someone says we are being tested by God. That doesn't always soothe our hurt. Do they know for sure? Is it possible that Satan is responsible? What about Job's case? A man of great faith. We sing a hymn that everyone knows. Have we trials and temptations? Is there trouble anywhere? Take it to the Lord in prayer. That is how you as well as others have been able to deal with all that you have been through. May God continue to provide the strength that is needed to be victorious over adversity.

      (1)
  14. Unless we too experience suffering, we cannot begin to appreciate how much Jesus loves us and suffered for us. Nor, can we genuinely understand and empathize with our brothers and sisters who are suffering. Finally, as Hugh mentioned in the first comment, by experiencing the pain resulting from sin, we will develop an eternal aversion to sin so that after Jesus comes "...affliction shall not rise up the second time" (Nahum 1:9)

    (3)
  15. It's all about humility we should humble ourselves when we are faced with trials and tribulations we should give him the highest praise this is what makes us stronger it's hard for us to rejoice but this shows how faithful we are to him that is able to give us the victory

    (3)
  16. Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
    (Hebrews 11:1 - KJV)
    When a loved one dies and we focus on the reunion at resurrection morning our grieving will be evidence of that coming event.When disease racks our mortal bodies and we focus on God recreating(healing) us or in a twinkling of an eye immortalizing us, when job interviews are not successful,rent arrears are piling up,cannot put food on the table,school fees are not paid and relationships are going from bad to worse, friends have abandoned us and we continue to focus on the knowledge that God knows, the evidence will be there that in due time our trials will be over for God is faithful and will not try us beyond our capability but with every trial will open up a way out for us to overcome.Trials perfect our faith when we focus on what God is about to do for us in the next moment.

    (2)
  17. We are told to count it all joy when we fall into diverse temptations. Question: What if we fall? What if we somehow lose our way? It is rather hard to count it all joy in these situations. Could someone please answer those questions for me? Sometimes walking the christian journey could be difficult.

    (1)
    • Karen, I believe that if we "count it all joy," recognizing that our Father still watches over us, we will not lose our way. However, if we focus on ourselves and our hardships, we are likely to lose our way. That's why the counsel of James is good.

      (2)
    • Karen,
      In my 66 years on this earth I have discovered the trustworthiness of God. We are told, "He will do it." We are told that He starts the good work in us and He finishes the good work in us. I have been falling down over and over again my whole life. It is not falling down that is important, it is getting back up. Each time I get up I realize how wonderful God is. He wants me. He wants you. I have been an over comer in a lot of things, not all things. I just keep on remembering that "He will do it." Some of the healing takes a long time. If we keep on cooperating with The Physician, He will heal us. I want to concentrate on hanging out with Him because I will become like who I am with. By beholding we become changed.

      (3)
    • Karen, there are those in scripture who found great favor with God, but they fell at times. I have learned that falling is often the best thing for us when we are unable to comprehend our great need any other way. God knows we will fail certain tests of faith, but also sees what will result from these failings. Our nature is corrupt and needs God's grace to restore us into His image, and seeing how great our need is is our greatest need. (See Ministry of Healing, 471)

      "For a just man falleth seven times, and riseth up again:" Prov 24:16
      Speaking of Jesus: "And Simeon blessed them, and said unto Mary his mother, Behold, this child is set for the fall and rising again of many in Israel;"
      Luke 2:34. Notice the "rising again" in this prophecy.

      Our sinful nature is like gravity to a a rock, and no matter how hard you might toss it into the air, it's coming back down unless a divine power overrules this effect. Have you noticed that huge rock in the sky that has never fallen? Yes, the moon. God can do that!

      Abraham, Moses, David, Elijah...just a few of those who experienced falls in their lives.

      (1)
  18. Although it looks as if II is too hard to do it is necssary for us to make our GOD rejoice in us as we rejoice in HIM when we trust and wholly lean on HIM and HIM alone as this happened when Job did it.

    (0)
  19. Karen if we should fall or somehow lose our way we should go down on our knees and pray refocus our sight on God because He is able we know that the Christian walk isn't easy Christ carried the cross he fell on His journey He didn't have to fall but this is telling us that it's not an easy road temptation will come our way but we don't have to yield we have to trust God and ask for increase measure of faith

    (1)
  20. It is hard to rejoice in times of difficult. This so happens because we don't truly understand the role of trials in our lives. Could we understand, then we could be thankful and joyous over trials.

    (1)

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