The trial of faith is something that is missing in the dictionary of most believers today. To worsen the case, the modern day preacher and televangelist as custodian of the word God paints the picture of Christian journey as having no bumps at all along the way. Their teaching assures the believer that trial, temptation, and challenges of life are gone with repentance. However, a cursory look at both the New and Old Testament with real life experience shows a sharp contrast
Another word for the trial of faith includes persecution and challenges of life. Just as we have the difference between trial and temptation, we will first look at what trial of faith is not, before we should look at what trial of faith is.
1- It is not a trial of faith if you are been punish for an offense committed.
2- It is not a trial of faith when you consistently fall sick because you do not keep to simple hygiene rule.
3- You cannot say you are facing persecution from your spouse if you fail to keep marriage principle that will keep your home.
4- Failure to maintain good communication and good customer relationship in a competitive business world that resulted in the collapse of business is not the same as a test of faith.
5- Inability to engage in spiritual warfare and daily spiritual exercise that opens you up for Satan’s arsenal could not be blamed on God as not been caring.
6- Doing the right thing at the wrong time is not synonymous with persecution. For example, a believer evangelizing, praying and counseling during working hour should not say he is facing a trial of faith if sanction. A Christian who skip work or fail to attend classes without appropriate permission instead use that time to attend prayer vigil or retreat as a worker or student if sacked or fail his exam should not blame the Devil or claim to be facing a trial of faith.
But, what is a trial of faith? It could either be challenges ,difficulty or persecution face by Christian for his uncompromising stand for Holy living and righteousness both from men and the devil, It could also be a glaring momentary denial of his right or benefit both from God and men which naturally should accrue to him for his loyalty. The Bible abounds with several people who went through one form of challenges of life or another. These hard knocks come not as neglect, disobedience, foolishness or sin from such Christian
Let us look at the definition of faith.
Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. Heb 11:1 NKJV
Lover of the gospel of convenience will just stop at this level of definition of faith. But let us look at the same definition of another translation.
Now faith is the assurance (the confirmation, the title deed) of the things [we] hope for, being the proof of things [we] do not see and the conviction of their reality [faith perceiving as real fact what is not revealed to the senses]. Heb 11:1AMP
Note the word evidence in King James Version of the Bible is here translated title deed meaning a legal document that confers ownership on an individual. For instance, you are only permitted to add Dr. or Engr. to your name, if you are a qualified engineer or a Ph.D. holder in your discipline or conferred on you by an institution. It implies that you must have proved your worth to deserve such honor. Read this –
It was by their faith that people of ancient times won God’s approval.
Heb 11:2 GNT
If it takes years of discipline, dedication selfless service, and sacrifice to get a certificate and award in the world how come, believers, today are deceived to believe God’s approval will be that cheap? To better appreciate verses 1 and 2 let us look at what qualifies these early fathers for God’s approval.
Others had to suffer the trial of mocking and scourging and even chains and imprisonment. They were stoned to death; they were lured with tempting offers [to renounce their faith]; they were sawn asunder; they were slaughtered by the sword; [while they were alive] they had to go about wrapped in the skins of sheep and goats, utterly destitute, oppressed, cruelly treated —
[Men] of whom the world was not worthy — roaming over the desolate places and the mountains, and [living] in caves and caverns and holes of the earth. Heb 11:36-38 AMP
Unless you understand problems and challenges of life in view of the above scripture you cannot be said to have come of age as a Christian.
Now, we can define faith therefore as:
1-Acting on what you believe.
2- Acting on God’s word and promises when it negates reasoning.
3- Assurance of the expected future in the present.
4- Being excited about the future irrespective of the current negative prevailing situation
The followings are signs and indication that a believer is passing through a trial of faith.
a- When prayer result does not correspond with prayer result.
Having checked your life for a trace of sin and none is available. You have engaged in various forms or types of prayer, bind and loose, fasted both dry and regular one to no avail. The trial of faith could be said to be in place at the time you speak in tongue and rebuke the devil and nothing change then your faith is been tried
b- When expected result seems to delay and God’s promise seems no longer real. One of the benefits of been a child of God is receiving an answer to one’s prayer. But when the expected result does not come in time weariness sets in. It becomes worrisome for instance when you compare your situation with people of who married the same time as you but are now father and mother of children not because you have not prayed like them. Medically you are certified okay, followed medical and spiritual counsel to no avail then your faith is passing through trials.
c- When righteousness and holy living appears unrewarded. Sometimes when you are passing through the difficult period you are tempted to ask the question what is the use of been righteous. You are press to conclude that your years as unbeliever is better than now that you surrender your life to Christ. This is the deceit of the devil to capsize the ship of your faith.
d- Ungodly and sinners are having a filled day as they get quicker and better result than the saint. David once felt so Psalm 73:1-16. At times the only thing the devil will focus our attention to during turbulent period is to behold the affluence and success of the wicked and be tempted to conclude if what they do is really bad they could be getting away with. But read the reality that David found out Psalm 73:18-20.
e- When brethren who should know better and support you during the trying period mock you and conclude you are responsible for your trouble. You are devastated spiritually, morally, and psychologically when your spiritual family desert you or are making a mockery of your situation . At such times it appears the whole world is collapsing all around you. Beloved, this is one way to prove the strength of your faith. At this time you either sink or ride on this wave of the trial.
When you have an adequate understanding between what your sins or foolishness caused you. And the fiery dart of the devil as the trial of faith, you will be able to garner enough strength to stand the test of time. This understanding also help you apply the right approach.Recommended reading
6 Truth about trial,temptation,and trouble of life.
Joseph Akinrinola is a Pastor, Sunday school management coach, author, blogger, and a motivational speaker.
Joseph created this blog to help young Christians establish their
feet in Christ, and to provide Biblical time-tested answers to life’s
questions about relationship, christian living and personal development.