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The Trial of Your Faith

Posted by appolus on April 22, 2008

There is no easy solution or fix to the “Dark night of the soul.” If you will be a warrior in the army of the Lord you will certainly go through basic training that will make the training of today’s special forces seem like a picnic.

THE TRIAL OF YOUR FAITH

 

I wrote in a previous letter that the faith that removes mountains is the faith we discover in the midst of the trial. It is when our backs are to the wall, or to the sea if you were an Israelite, that we discover our complete dependence upon God. There is a direct correlation to our dependency on Him and the level of our faith. It is this faith, born in the fire, that the Lord will water and cause to grow. I must tell you now, that this trial will not be pleasant, and may last many years.

There is no easy solution or fix to the “Dark night of the soul.” If you will be a warrior in the army of the Lord you will certainly go through basic training that will make the training of today’s special forces seem like a picnic.

The chronology will be different though. In the world the basic training comes at the beginning, not so with the Christian. The Christian will enjoy emotional blessings in the beginning, he will be bottle fed by the Lord as any baby would be. He will easily move into the presence of the Lord and will enjoy it abundantly. Then the growing process begins, and with it comes the growing pains.

There will come many times when you cannot hear from the Lord. It will be a very confusing time, yet also a learning time. My wife bought me a flying lesson one Christmas and the pilot was very informative, telling me what was required to become a fully licensed pilot. One of the most important tests was the instruments test.

This was done at night when the pilot had absolutely no visual aids to help him reach his final destination. He had to rely completely on the coordinates that were given to him. There are times in out life when we will not “feel’ the Lords presence. And yet we have the scriptures which will be a lamp unto our feet and a reminder of God’s promises, regardless of how or what we “feel.”

Oswald Chambers writes in “My utmost for His highest,”……”We have the idea that God rewards us for our faith, and so it may be in the initial stages. But we do not earn anything through faith – faith brings us into a right relationship with God and gives Him opportunity to work. Yet God frequently has to knock the bottom out of your experiences as His saint to get you in direct contact with Himself. God wants you to understand that that it is a life of faith not a life of emotional enjoyment of His blessings. (oh how this flies in the face of today’s peddlers of the Gospel) The beginning of your life of faith was very narrow and intense, centered around a small amount of experience that had as much emotion as faith in it, and it was full of light and sweetness. Then God withdrew His conscious blessings to teach you to walk by faith. (2 Cor 5:7) And you are worth much more to Him now that you were in your days of conscious delight and thrilling testimony.
Faith, by its very nature must be tested and tried. And the real trial of faith is not that we find it difficult to trust God, but that God’s character must be proven as trustworthy in our own minds. Faith being worked out in reality must experience times of unbroken isolation. Never confuse the trial of faith with the ordinary discipline of life, because a great deal of what we call faith is the inevitable result of being alive. Faith, as the Bible teaches it, is faith in God coming against everything that contradicts Him – a faith that says “I will remain true to God’s character whatever He may do.” The highest and the greatest expression of faith in the whole Bible is “Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him”(Job 13 :15)”

This faith transcends the physical miracle. In this faith we are not held captive to any element of the world. While the physical miracle may come forth from this faith, it is in no way dependent on it. The lower forms of faith must be able to see, with their own eyes, the physical manifestation. These are the brothers and sisters who have not yet walked through the fire, they have not experienced their own dark night of the soul They are still babes in Christ, and in many ways live in fear, which of course is the opposite of faith.

Fear is the enemy of the people of God. When a trial or tribulation comes into our life we begin to beg God to take it away, we refuse to accept the situation and out of fear and emotion we cry out to God. God’s response in this situation will shock many, in my obvious paraphrase He will say “quit your blubbering.”

The warriors of the Royal Priesthood are not made up men and woman of faint hearts, who by refusing to accept a situation think they move in faith when in actual fact they move in fear. In the middle of the storm the Apostles cry out to Jesus “save us.” Did Jesus react kindly? He rebukes them with these words “Oh ye of little faith.” They moved in fear, He tells them to move in faith. Sometimes we will be beckoned to come out of the boat, this will represent the physical miracle and will be His call, His direction.

Hold fast brothers and sisters. If you are in the middle of the storm, if you are being tested, praise Him and give Him thanks for your situation, regardless of what it may be. Remember, He is sovereign and you are righteous and your steps are ordered of Him, and even if your called to die, yet will you bless Him. For we serve a Holy God wholly, not because of what He can do for us but because of who He is.

“I hear men praying everywhere for more faith, but when I listen to them carefully, and get to the real heart of their prayer, very often it is not more faith at all that they are wanting, but a change from faith to sight. Faith says not, “I
see that it is good for me, so God must have sent it,” but, “God sent it, and so it must be good for me.” Faith, walking in the dark with God, only prays Him to clasp its hand more
closely.”
… Phillips Brooks (1835-1893)

4 Responses to “The Trial of Your Faith”

  1. Paul West said

    Good article, brother. It seems you are well-acquainted with God’s painful process of growth in the life of a saint. Once you enter this school with serious resolve, you quickly find out that nothing lasts or is a sure thing save the grace of God by which you stand.

    Brother Paul

  2. appolus said

    Hi brother Paul, thanks for dropping by. In 1995,four years aftef coming to the Lord, I prayed this prayer, and as I prayed it I knew that it was the most serious prayer that I ever prayed. “Lord, whatever it takes to make me useful for your kingdom.” Looking back at these last 13 years and knowing what I know now, I have to be honest Paul, I am not sure I would have prayed that prayer. To die to all your hopes and ambitions has been a wrenching experience. To have all my ugliness come to the surface and be dealt with was and is traumatic. To come to the knowledge, not a head knowledge, that without Christ I am nothing, has almost been the death of me mentally and physically. Yet, what has replaced all of that? A peace, a contentment despite the circumstaces. Perhaps I am now just beginning to take the first steps to Calvary and beyond. Yes brother, nothing lasts, your right. Yet the peace that is beyond understanding, the love of God rather than love of self, these are the things of eternity. The comments you make brother Paul makes me think we attend the same school ? 🙂

  3. Chrystal said

    I found this today as one of the random links that popped up in something I wrote; I’ve read it with tears in my eyes. I needed a reminder of this today. This line especially gripped me: “I will remain true to God’s character whatever He may do.” It’s such a difficult resolve to have when the “dark night of the soul” seems to stretch on for weeks, months, or even years. And yet, our expression of absolute, reliant, obedient trust must touch His heart in a way that mere lip-service cannot.

    Great article!

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