THE TESTED FAITH
Monday, 24 September 2018
Genesis 22 : 1-19
Now it came to pass after these things that God tested Abraham, and said to him, “Abraham!” -Genesis 22:1
God tested Abraham, not to make him stumble and watch him fall, but to deepen his obedience to God and thus to develop his character. We don’t like the testing times, we dread them; we wish they would go away, but Testing Times are actually Transforming Times! The brooks that we love to see from the mountain tops are beautiful; but take away those rugged rocks through which they must rush and collide, then the brooks lose their charm. A caterpillar that emerges without the struggle, cannot fly; it gains the strength by the struggle of breaking through its cocoon.
A few principles of the testing of our faith we can learn from Genesis 22:
1. Faith to be placed in the proper object
No faith in life is greater than the object in which it is placed. We may “picture” God from our experience, rather than experience God from the self-portrait He gave on the canvas of Scripture. As a result, we may get a distorted view of the God of Abraham. Where is the object of your faith? Is it in a god that you have made up or is it in the God who made you? Is it in a God who loves you with an everlasting love and created a plan for your life from the beginning of eternity? Is it in a God who loved you so much that He gave His Son to die on a cross for you; who moulds us and shapes us to be more like His Son? Place your faith in Him!
2. Testing is Not Same as Tempting
Alexander McClaren, the great preacher and orator of old, says, “In temptation, we are told: ‘do this pleasant thing and do not be hindered by the fact that it is wrong.’ But in testing, we are told: ‘do this difficult thing and do not be hindered by the fact that it’s tough’.” The son Isaac, who had captivated Abraham’s heart for some years was to be surrendered which was a difficult thing but not hindered by the fact that it’s tough. In James 1, the writer says, “Consider it pure joy my brothers whenever you face trials of various kinds because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.”
3. Faith’s Testing Involves a Demand
When God said, “Take your son,” He did not want the son; rather know if Abraham’s will was submitted to His. In other words, we need to hold the hand of God closely and to hold things loosely. Always our temptation is to hold the things closely and to hold God loosely. It was this very dilemma martyred missionary Jim Elliott referred to: “He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep, to gain what he cannot lose.” There come times when God says, “What do you love the most: do you love Me or do you love the things I give you?” The demand of the faith was, “let go!” What is it today which God is challenging you to “let go?”
4. God darkens His demands
God does not explain the "why?" to men! Faith knows that the path of God always leads to good for us and to glory for Him.
5. The Testing of Faith is Followed by Reward
When you walk with Him through trial after trial and test after test, one of the greatest rewards of faith is an ear that is tuned to the voice of God. As he lifted that knife to bring down on his son, his ears were still tuned to hear God’s voice: “Abraham!” Proverbs 8:34 says, “Blessed is the man who listens to me, watching daily at my doors, and waiting at my doorway.”
Perhaps today God has you on the way to your own mountaintop of testing that the true quality of your faith is revealed.
Thought for the Day: “A faith that has not been tested
cannot be trusted” -Adrian Rodgers
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