Defining Trials

Feast of Tabernacles Sermon by John O. Reid (1930-2016)

Trials define who we are by placing choices before us, forcing us to have faith in God. Character is built by making right, though difficult, choices.


Trials: Much Needed Experiences

Sermon by John O. Reid (1930-2016)

God uses trials to test our hearts, but He never places a trial before us to tempt us. God uses trials we bring on ourselves to draw us closer to Him.


Trial by Fire

Sermon by John W. Ritenbaugh

Like a loving parent, God brings just the right pressures to bear to bring about necessary change in His children. Each trial has a place in His purpose.


Testing Spiritual Character

Sermon by Martin G. Collins

In this message on self-deception and illusion, Martin Collins focuses upon the pernicious insidious trait of human nature to deceive itself, living in a perpetual fantasy and self-delusion. God uses a lifetime regimen of testing, designed to distinguish genuine from flawed character, developing tenacity, perseverance, and the …


The Continuous Testing of Our Faith

Sermon by Martin G. Collins

The constant tests to which God submits His people enable them to build character by responding in faith. God perfected Abraham's faith through difficult trials.


Who Will Be Kept from the Hour of Trial?

'Prophecy Watch' by David C. Grabbe

God promises certain Christians that He will keep them from the Tribulation—the "hour of trial." Here are the characteristics of those whom God will protect.


Trials Are a Gift From God

Sermon by Mark Schindler

Mark Schindler shares a publication produced shortly after World War II by the Reader's Digest, titled Getting the Most Out of Life, a collection of articles written by people who were able to transcend their losses by finding alternate ways of attaining goals. The handicap associated with the loss of his leg actually served as …


Facing Times of Stress: Grieved by Various Trials

Sermon by Martin G. Collins

Martin Collins, describing different reactions of certain substances to fire, uses this variation of reaction as a metaphor of our differing reactions to fiery trials. As Christians, we can be conditioned to rejoice in trials, paradoxically having joy in the midst of grief and heaviness. Trials come in great variety, from …


Hedged About on Every Side

'Ready Answer' by Staff

In Job 1, Satan accuses God of hedging Job about on every side, saying that if God would let down the hedge, they could see what Job was really made of. This article explains how important God's hedge about us is.


In the Hands of the Potter

Sermonette by Ted E. Bowling

Ted Bowling, reflecting on the potter and clay analogy, reminds us that the Master Potter continually molds and shapes His people. Finding different kinds of clay in the riverbed, he weathers it to the point it stinks (like our own sins), and then pounds the clay on a hard surface, rolling and mashing it, getting rid of the …


Hope in a Turbulent World

Sermon by John W. Ritenbaugh

Greek and Roman myths have shaped the world view of Western culture, including our attitude toward hope, a concept which is often abused and distorted.


God Is Preparing Us For the Kingdom

Sermon by Kim Myers

Today, the church is experiencing more overwhelming trials than ever before, indicating that God is preparing His people for the end time.


God's Good Work in Us

Sermon by John O. Reid (1930-2016)

Despite the privileged position of our calling, God does not cut us any slack in terms of trials and tests to perfect us. We must accept God's sovereignty.


Ecclesiastes and Christian Living (Part Eleven): Paradox, Continued

'Personal' from John W. Ritenbaugh

Hard trials are not punishments from God for unrighteousness but tests of faith in which He is intimately involved to prepare us for the world to come.


No Longer Brain Dead

Sermon by Mark Schindler

Mark Schindler, reflecting that 40 is the number of trial and, coincidentally, the number of his and Nancy's anniversary, ruminates about the early days when he asked his future father-in-law's permission to marry his daughter. Forty years constituted the length of the wilderness trek of our ancestors, a time when they …


From Pilgrims to Pillars (Part Two)

Feast of Tabernacles Sermon by David F. Maas

The intensity of the heat in both the refiner's furnace and the potter's kiln resembles the fiery trials we must endure for the Refiner to remove the dross.


Keep Walking

Sermonette by Ryan McClure

Ryan McClure, cautioning us to regard neither the trials of ancient Israel nor our present trials as an oddity, reminds us that God uses trials to test and humble us, but He never impedes our ability to move forward toward His goal of creating us as a family in His image. God never inhibited the ancient Israelites; their own …


Are You Sure You Believe in God? (Part Three)

Sermon by Martin G. Collins

Martin Collins, reflecting on Abraham's obedience to God, observes that character is determined by response to tests. Obedience and concrete works must follow and prove the existence of faith. Real saving faith is a gift from God, but we are obligated to walk by this faith, developing incremental levels of faith through …


How Does Temptation Relate to Sin?

'Ready Answer' by Martin G. Collins

We have been called to a life of avoiding, enduring and overcoming temptation. Here is the process of temptation, sin and their products, and destruction.


Hebrews (Part 14)

Sermon/Bible Study by John W. Ritenbaugh

Like Jesus and other heroes of faith, we need to look beyond the present to the long term effects of the trials and tests we go though, seeing their value.


The More Things Change

Sermon by Richard T. Ritenbaugh

We tend to think of the early Church as a 'golden age' of unity and momentum. But early church members experienced problems similar to what we face today.


Ecclesiastes Resumed (Part Twenty-Two)

Sermon by John W. Ritenbaugh

Trials are a means to produce spiritual growth, unless we resort to super-righteousness, straining to please God by exalting our works.


Unity (Part 8): Ephesians 4 (E)

Sermon by John W. Ritenbaugh

The group that one fellowships with is less important than the understanding that there is one true church, bound by a spiritual, not a physical unity.


Fear and Faith (Part Two)

CGG Weekly by Mike Ford

The spies returned on the 8th of Av, and as the 9th of Av began, the people murmured, beginning a long list of calamities to befall Israel on this date.


Running God's Marathon With Christ

Sermon by Mark Schindler

Christ endured many more than three temptations; rather, He was tested continuously, and perhaps the intensity increased as He neared the end of His life.


Lacking Nothing (Part One)

Sermon by Martin G. Collins

Martin Collins, admitting that America's economic woes are worsening, maintains that America is still incredibly blessed in comparison with the scarcity experienced in the rest of the world. God blessed Israel conditionally, dependent upon obedience and law- keeping. Unfortunately, Abraham's descendants have squandered these …


Whom the Lord Loves He Chastens (Part Two)

Sermon by Martin G. Collins

Martin Collins, recounting a story about how he used reverse psychology on his daughter to get her to eat green beans, focuses on Hebrews 12 and the admonition to endure chastening and discipline from our Heavenly Father in order to ultimately attain holiness. If we endure chastisement and discipline from God, we prove we are …


Our Spiritual Wilderness

Sermonette by Ryan McClure

Ryan McClure, drawing parallels between the Exodus of Israel and our spiritual conversion, points out that God shows transparency of His intentions to test us in order to see what is in our hearts (Deuteronomy 8:1-5). The Lord revealed to Moses His intention of saving Israel and teaching Egypt a lesson. Our forebears, camped at …


The Healing of a Man Born Blind (Part One)

Sermon by Martin G. Collins

Martin Collins, expounding on the miracle of the healing of the man born blind, suggests that the physical impairments, including blindness, have spiritual counterparts. Jesus Christ represents the coming of light into the world, a metaphorical representation of truth and righteousness, a light which was rejected by His own …


Becoming Fearless

Sermon by Mark Schindler

When Job was afflicted with physical problems, he learned that God was using them to perfect him. Afflictions are intended to bind us together.


Answered Prayer Through Faith

Sermon by Martin G. Collins

Martin Collins, continuing the series on effective prayer, examines some of the reasons God apparently does not answer certain prayers in the affirmative. Sometimes people "pray" as a substitute for thinking. We are to become skilled at using biblical principles thoroughly mulled over in meditation—striving to …


Labor Pains

Sermonette by Ryan McClure

During the past century, the world has experienced 'practice contractions.' These birth pangs will increase until Christ returns to establish the Kingdom.


Are You Worthy of Your Calling?

Sermon by Martin G. Collins

Martin Collins discusses the apostle Paul's epistle to the Thessalonians, a group of dispirited, despairing Christians who had been bombarded by false teachings that the Day of the Lord had already come, prompting many to quit their employment, rest on their laurels, and become busy-bodies, as well as leading the leaders to …


Our Hope

Sermon by John W. Ritenbaugh

Our hope is based on having a living Savior. At times we are discouraged and overwhelmed, but God has not left us—though unseen, He is in the trials with us.


Faith (Part One)

Sermon by John W. Ritenbaugh

We would like God to instantly gratify our desires. Consequently, we find living by faith difficult; we do not trust that He has things under control.


Amos (Part 12)

Sermon/Bible Study by John W. Ritenbaugh

John Ritenbaugh warns that the pride of Jacob (or his offspring) coupled with the incredible ability to make tremendous technological advances, blinds Israel to its devastating moral deficit. Amos begins with a description or cataloging of the sins of Israel's enemies, followed by a harsh indictment of its own sins and a roar of …


Psalms: Book One (Part Four)

Sermon by Richard T. Ritenbaugh

Richard Ritenbaugh, asking us whether we trust the current Federal government, points out that, according to recent polls, confidence in government has eroded to an all-time historical low, with only 13% of the citizenry believing government does right most of the time, 10% believing government never does anything right, while …


Christianity Is a Fight! (Part 2)

Sermon by John W. Ritenbaugh

The most formidable foe in our spiritual battle is the flesh. We must mortify, slay, and crucify the flesh, enduring suffering as Jesus Christ exemplified.


The Providence of God (Part One)

Sermon by John W. Ritenbaugh

John Ritenbaugh, defining providence as the protective care of God, suggests that the providence of God also touches on the pains and sufferings of persecution. To the elect whom God foreknew, all things- pleasant or unpleasant- happen for ultimate good (Romans 8:28). Tragic things, calamities, trials, anxiety, evil, and curses …