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.
Faith is simple in concept; it is believing what God says. Yet it is difficult to display in our lives, and it is often tested. Here is some evidence of faith.
Millions lack faith to receive answers to their prayers. To a large extent, this is due to a lack of understanding what faith is.
At the end of the Parable of the Persistent Widow, Jesus asks, "When the Son of Man comes, will He really find faith...?" The answer is surprising to many.
How do we obey this call to test ourselves, to know whether we are in the faith? A good place to start is to see how God measures faith, beginning with Abraham.
Like with the heroes of faith, our testing will be commensurate with the job God has prepared for us. We must make our relationship with God our top priority.
Using assumptions, some have concocted some nine conflicting calendars. The preservation of the oracles has not been entrusted to the church but to the Jews.
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.
Because we act on what we believe, any affront to our belief system will alter our choices and behavior, placing us on a destructive trajectory.
Kim Myers, acknowledging that we are celebrating an event yet to happen in the future, suggests that we need to have intense faith to move from point A (the present) to point B (the Millennium).Faith is a trust in things we cannot see, the same kind of faith that Shadrach, Meschach, and Abednego had to endure the threat of the …
God demonstrated to Gideon, through His systematically whittling his army from 30,000 to 300, that His providence, and not Gideon's might, would bring victory.
The heroes of faith may have had a longer period of testing than those called now, but the trials will come at greater intensity here at the end.
Constant, earnest prayer keeps faith alive and makes certain the receiving of the qualities that make us in the image of God. God's purpose comes first.
All of God's people should be watchmen like Habakkuk, living continually by faith, discerning, listening to, and responding to God's instructions.
John Reid warns of an impending time when Satan will provide us a "test act" to determine whether we will conform to the image of the Beast or face grave, life-threatening consequences. Likewise, God the Father and Jesus Christ have also provided a "test act" determining whether we will stay loyal to God's …
Abraham embodied living by faith. Through perpetually living in a tent, he demonstrated his complete trust and reliance upon God.
Faith is a gift which requires continual practice and exercise. God will grant us more faith if we faithfully use what He has already given us.
Martin Collins, reflecting on Philippians 4:4-9,observes that although America is the most blessed nation on the face of the earth, it is also the most unthankful, providing a contributory cause for anxiety. As Paul counseled the Philippians, thankfulness and gratefulness lead to joy and profound peace, while ungratefulness and …
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.
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.
Clyde Finklea, reminding us that spiritual maturity does not come about without difficulty, asserts that suffering is one of the tools God uses to perfect us. Suffering is part of a process to refine endurance and character. At the onset of a trial, we must quickly ask God for what we need to learn from this episode. Though we …
What does the Bible mean when it says we should count it all joy when you fall into various trials? What is this joy we must experience, and how do we come by it?
We are mandated to live by faith, being given trials of faith in order to chisel our character. We must totally and unreservedly accept God's sovereignty.
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.
Martin Collins, acknowledging that while the Israelites initially marvelled at God"s miracles and His intervention during the Exodus, suggests that they had poor memories of His vast power. We must remember that we, individually, are rescued from our lifelong bondage to sin. In our case, God works behind the scenes. As our …
Trials are a means to produce spiritual growth, unless we resort to super-righteousness, straining to please God by exalting our works.
John Ritenbaugh, referring to Jerusalem as Sodom and Egypt because of their perverse conduct, suggests that those of us living in modern Israel are living in spiritual Sodom and will be sorely tested in these last devastating times. We have to realize that in these terrible times, God has the last word. We need to realize the …
Even though the way God exercises His sovereignty is inscrutable to us , calling the foolish to confound the wise, all He does fits perfectly into His plan.
Ted Bowling, acknowledging that faith is a foundation of our assurance in the reality of God, uses a submarine analogy with its sonar equipment to illustrate faith. The crew of the submarine must rely on the ping of a sonar signal to keep from crashing into underwater cliffs, trusting in a power they cannot see. God has given to …
I John 4:17 reveals the depth of love God the Father has for us as unique, special components of His creation, loving each of us as much as He loved Christ.
Today, the church is experiencing more overwhelming trials than ever before, indicating that God is preparing His people for the end time.
John Ritenbaugh asserts that when God created Adam, He prepared only a foundation for mankind's eventual spiritual creation undertaken by the Second Adam. Spiritual creation requires much intense pressure and continual testing to determine character. Jesus went through this process first to provide us an example. We are to be …
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.
Psalm 23 depicts the gratitude we should display from a sheep's point of view, as the animal boasts of blessings and marvels about the care of his Shepherd.
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 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.
John Ritenbaugh emphasizes that a spiritual Israelite, following Jacob's example, undergoes a metamorphosis in which his own stubborn, self-centered will is broken so that God's creative work can be completed within him. Abraham, whose very name connotes faithfulness, learned to work through fearful catch-22 dilemmas, walking by …
We are not individually sovereign, but we are taught to give ourselves over completely to God's sovereignty. If we do, we will reap unfathomable blessings.
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 …
Jesus and Abraham rose above their emotional pulls by exercising living faith—a faith built on acts of obedience. Faith can never be separated from works.
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.
In tough financial times, some Christians reduce or cut out altogether God's tithe. They justify it with an excuse like, 'God wouldn't want me to starve!'
Many hear or read God's Word and think they believe. Jesus says that many say to Him, 'Lord, Lord,' as if in submission, but they never truly follow Him.
Acts 27 teaches that we must distinguish among several types of suffering. Regardless of the type of suffering, we must remember that God will deliver us.
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.
John Ritenbaugh, continuing his exposition on Ecclesiastes, focuses on three interrelated terms: paradox (something contrary to expectation), conundrum (a riddle), and wisdom (skill in arts, such as Bezalel and Oholiab who were gifted in a specific skill—or spiritual insight). We are called into the body of Christ gifted …
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.
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.
John Ritenbaugh reiterates that a life lived apart from God, under the sun, amounts to vanity and a fist full of wind. As we become aware of God's involvement in our lives, we begin to stand in awe of God, developing an appreciation for the proper investment of our time. 780 references to time recur through Scripture. Thousands …
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.
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 …
We must develop an active, God-given restraint and constancy in endurance while facing trials and waiting for Christ's return, trusting that God will provide.
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 …
We are on the threshold of the greatest period of testing ever to come upon mankind. We need a sense of hope and faith to stay focused on our calling.
Belief in God involves more than believing He exists, but in faithfully obeying what He asks us to do. Genuine faith gives us access to genuine power.
We do not think much of crowns these days, but one awaits us if we continue in the faith! Martin Collins researches the kind of crown we will receive when we enter God's Kingdom.
John Ritenbaugh asserts that the difference between a pilgrim and a wanderer is that the pilgrim knows his destination. God wants our pilgrimage to be a direct route with very few excursions or side-trips to the world. The book of Numbers- a record of God's judgments, tests, and evaluations for ancient Israel, preparing them for …
Halting between two opinions stalls a person's spiritual growth and degrades peace and joy, causing him to drift toward despair as trials and arise.
Based on his long friendship with God, Abraham could systematically calculate the reliability of God's promises even in the lack of visual evidence.