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September 15, 2017

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WHY AFFLICTION? A TESTING OF FAITH

"Thou hast proved mine heart; thou hast visited me in the night; thou hast tried me..." Psalm 17:3

Many today make much of their "profession" of faith. They are quick to tell you how involved they are in the many ministries of the church...how meaningful are the traditions, customs, and forms of worship they adhere to...how long they have been a Christian and the circle of friends they fellowship with. All of these things are wonderful and encouraging in many ways. Sadly, many believers make these a "spiritual crutch" for their faith. The problem lies, when these things "take precedent" for our time with God. Nothing should supersede the time it takes for us to "grow in grace."

This involves the study of His Word... our time in prayer communicating with God and He with us...of letting His Word become applicable to every phase of our life. Having Christ the "priority and focus of our life," will cause us to drive our stakes of faith deep into His Word and our trust solely in Him. How needful this intimate fellowship with Christ should be, when the "clouds of affliction" envelope our lives.

When confronted with "affliction," the "reality of our faith" will come to the forefront. It will be the "moment of truth" as to whether our faith is but a shallow pretense...OR...whether our faith is "bent on doing His will" and "committed to His plan and purpose" for our lives. You see, there is a profound difference in a mere "profession of our faith"...and "possessing the Christ" who is the object of our faith and the Lord of our life.

Affliction often forms the battleground for the "testing of our faith." There we will be tested as to the source of our faith. Is it a faith that "we" have established by "our" doing, "our" activity, "our" gifts, and "our" ability? Or will it prove, that we have come humbly before the Cross, acknowledged our sin, received Christ as our Savior and the Lord of our life...and cried out to Him in utter dependence, knowing how incapable we are in ourselves to battle against the forces of evil, and the devastating encounters of life.

When we exercise child-like faith, it is the "anchor that holds us steadfast and secure." It gives us the blessed assurance of God's care and concern. We put our trust in the Lord, "who is able to do exceeding abundantly above all we can ask or think" (Ephesians 3:20). Our faith rests not on past experiences, creeds, customs, or traditions, but on GOD HIMSELF.

Our faith believes in the supernatural power of God to do the impossible. It is a deliberate commitment to the person of Jesus Christ when there is no way...and we choose to fling ourselves in reckless abandonment with utter confidence on God! Such experimental Faith makes us "more than a conqueror" when tested by affliction.

Affliction often is the means to simplify our belief until our relationship to God is exactly that of a child...simple faith in an Almighty God...with nothing between. Faith must be tested, as in affliction. Our faith can only be turned into a personal possession through conflict. When our faith is steadfastly in Christ, it will be in the ONE who never fails, and sticks closer to us than a brother.

Affliction is a "testing of our faith." May each encounter not only stretch our faith...but drive us deeper to the FAITHFUL ONE!

Make every "test of faith"...a "triumph of faith!"

© 2007 by Ed Powell. Used by permission.


This page was reprinted by permission from: http://litmin.org/dare.php?date=2017-09-15


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