Trails of Faith: When a Christian’s Faith is Tested

Trails of Faith: When a Christian’s Faith is Tested – by Brady Tarr

“James 1:2-4”

In light of who will be reading this, I need to say that I am not talking about trials that take place in court, but rather trials of faith that take place in a person’s heart.We have all experienced them, they are not fun, and we don’t look forward to the next time God uses one to do a good work in us.

If you are like me (and I think most other Christians), I tend to be much more aware of my need for God’s help and my dependence on him when I, or someone I am close to, am facing (or will face) a time sickness, sorrow, despair, depression, family or marriage problems, financial hardship, etc.All of these things are considered trials of faith.What truths from the Bible should Christians prepare themselves with and remind themselves of when facing a trial.

While times of trial are difficult, we are to find encouragement from what we read in passages like James 1:2-4: “Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”Christians must seek to be joyful in times of ease and difficulty.Another promise that Christians have regarding the ultimate outcome of every trial (whether we fully understand the outcome or not) is found in Romans 8:28: “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good,for those who are called according to his purpose.”

Think with me for a moment about the answer to this question: “In light of God’s work of salvation which Christians receive through faith in the person and work of Jesus Christ, should anything negatively affect the joy and hope that Christians have in the guarantee of eternal life that we have in Jesus Christ?”.The answer to that is a resounding no!Nothing, no trial or hardship, should be able to affect the reality that a Christian’s joy in Christ should far surpass every other feeling or emotion that we experience.

Every honest Christian would confess that we often let things of this world discourage or depress us because we let these things take our eyes and mind off the steadfast hope and joy that is only found in the cross.So what do we do when we realize our joy and trust in Christ being affected by things of this world?First, we are to repent of our sin.Second, we must not depend on our own ability to help ourselves, but rather we are to ask God to help our unbelief and to renew our joy and trust in him.Third, we should remember that God has given us his word which will encourage, convict, and give strength to those who read and apply its truths to their lives.

Ultimately, Christians must always keep the truths of the gospel at the forefront of their minds during times of hardship and times of ease because reflecting on the amazing grace of the gospel of Jesus Christ brings joy!I would encourage each of us to reflect on the gospel message which can be summarized as “that the one and only God, who is holy, made us in his image to know him.But we sinned and cut ourselves off from him.In his great love, God became a man in Jesus, lived a perfect life, and died on the cross, thus fulfilling the law himself and taking on himself the punishment for the sins of all those who would ever turn and trust in him. He rose again from the dead, showing that God accepted Christ’s sacrifice and that God’s wrath against us had been exhausted.He now calls us to repent of our sins and to trust in Christ alone for our forgiveness.If we repent of our sins and trust in Christ, we are born again into a new life, and eternal life with God” (Mark Dever, The Gospel and Personal Evangelism, p. 43).

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