A Friendship Tested

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“…you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance…” James 1:3

Ponder this statement: God uses our life struggles and successes, trials and triumphs to test, forge and refine our faith and friendship with Him. To determine if we will truly trust Him through the ‘valley of the shadow of death’ that we are experiencing; okay, will experience – to completely trust that He is WITH us. That spiritual life point continues to repeat itself as I study the life of Abraham. I have discovered that over the course of his walk of faith with God, while the ‘tests of faith’ Abraham encountered escalated, so also did God’s deliverance as well as Abraham’s complete trust in God. This is why God allowed – allows ‘tests of faith’ in the first place. Let me list a few scripture verses to slowly read over and reflect upon:

– James 1:3, “you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.”
– Genesis 22:1, “Some time later, God tested Abraham…”
– Hebrews 11:17a,19a, “By faith Abraham, when God tested him, offered Isaac as a sacrifice… Abraham reasoned that God could raise the dead…”
– Exodus 20:20, “Moses said, ‘Do not be afraid. God has come to test you, so that the fear of God will be with you to keep you from sinning.'”
– Deuteronomy 8:2, “Remember how the LORD your God led you all the way in the desert these forty years, to humble you and to test you in order to know what was in your heart, whether or not you would keep his commands.”
– Job 1:21b-22 (Job’s test of faith allowed), “The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away; may the name of the LORD be praised.” In all this, Job did not sin by charging – blaming God with wrongdoing.”
– John 16:33b, Jesus says, “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
– Psalm 23:4, “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me…”

Oswald Chambers adds, “God gives us the vision… then takes us into the valley and puts us through fires and floods to batter us into shape until we get to a point where He can TRUST us with the goal He has for us… but don’t lose heart in the process.” Completely trust Him! Do we – truly? I am not sure what we are currently encountering; perhaps multiple ‘tests of faith’ all at once – that is usually how they seem to come don’t they, all at once. Oh yeah! But the question is, do we trust in God ‘through it all’? In complete surrender, are we entrusting ourselves and the entire situation to God that HE will see us through this our ‘test of faith’? I know it is extremely difficult. Been there myself many times. But trust! Trust in God! That’s the primary reason we are experiencing this. To learn to completely trust in God and not ourselves. Friends, please lean into and on God right now. He is WITH us. He will not forsake nor abandon us. We are not alone. Not at all. Know, believe and trust in that rock solid truth.

Love you friends. God is WITH you through this! 

Trusting in Him,

Pastor Doug // Lead Pastor

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