Sunday 23rd April 2012 – Pastor Mark Ballosingh
The greatest test of the believer is their Faith. A test is:- a critical test of ones’ qualities, to refine, to smelt, be pure or unmixed.When we go through a test we are refined and it results in purity.
A test is a process and is liken to the goldsmith, the refining process. Know that whatever test you are going through is just a process at the end of it you can look back and realise the result was worth it for you are refined and become as gold.
Jeremiah 6 27-30 I have set thee for a tower and a fortress among my people, that thou mayest know and try their way. 28They are all grievous revolters, walking with slanders: they are brass and iron; they are all corrupters. 29The bellows are burned, the lead is consumed of the fire; the founder melteth in vain: for the wicked are not plucked away. 30Reprobate silver shall men call them, because the LORD hath rejected them.
God speaks to Jeremiah telling him He has to test the people to see who is real. When we buy genuine parts there is a stamp on it to show genuineness. God has put a stamp of the Blood and a stamp of the Holy Ghost on us, we are not secondary we are the real deal for God has passed us through the test.
Isaiah 41:7 So the carpenter encouraged the goldsmith, and he that smootheth with the hammer him that smote the anvil, saying, It is ready for the sodering: and he fastened it with nails, that it should not be moved.
When we go through a test God sends different people into our life to complete the process to qualify you as a child of God.
Malachai 3 2&3 – But who may abide the day of his coming? and who shall stand when he appeareth? for he is like a refiner’s fire, and like fullers’ soap: 3And he shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver: and he shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the LORD an offering in righteousness.
God is going to test the church collectively as one body, not everyone in the church is genuine “just a very few of the elect will be saved” The faith of a church is her greatest strength for it is very difficult for the enemy to break that church.
Psalm 66 10-12 For thou, O God, hast proved us: thou hast tried us, as silver is tried. 11Thou broughtest us into the net; thou laidst affliction upon our loins. 12Thou hast caused men to ride over our heads; we went through fire and through water: but thou broughtest us out into a wealthy place.
God will try us, put us through the net, through the fire but through it all He will bring us into a wealthy and healthy place where there will be no more tears in our eyes. Today declare “God is bringing me out of trial, out of tribulation, persecution and temptation. In the account of Job he said God you took everything but you gave me double for my trouble.
Test – we are burnt and made red hot. Have you ever been in a situation where you feel like there’s fire all around you? This is the time to stay quiet for a little while and hide in God for He is putting us through a test, do not retaliate.
Proverbs 17:3 The fining pot is for silver, and the furnace for gold: but the LORD trieth the hearts. To be like gold you have to pass through the furnace. Know that as a believer there will come a time in your life where God will pass you through a test to see what you are made of – Proverbs 27: 21 As the fining pot for silver, and the furnace for gold; so is a man to his praise. God judges our character when He passes us through the fire.
There are various categories in your life which God will test:-
- Obedience – a man of great faith must be a man of great obedience. Genesis 22 1&2 And it came to pass after these things, that God did tempt Abraham, and said unto him, Abraham: and he said, Behold, here I am. 2And he said, Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest, and get thee into the land of Moriah; and offer him there for a burnt offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of.
God tempted Abraham to test his faithfulness and obedience. As we are tested in obedience it increases our faith.
- 2. Courage – Joshua 1 1-6: Now after the death of Moses the servant of the LORD it came to pass, that the LORD spake unto Joshua the son of Nun, Moses’ minister, saying2Moses my servant is dead; now therefore arise, go over this Jordan, thou, and all this people, unto the land which I do give to them, even to the children of Israel. 3Every place that the sole of your foot shall tread upon, that have I given unto you, as I said unto Moses. 4From the wilderness and this Lebanon even unto the great river, the river Euphrates, all the land of the Hittites, and unto the great sea toward the going down of the sun, shall be your coast. 5There shall not any man be able to stand before thee all the days of thy life: as I was with Moses, so I will be with thee: I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee. 6Be strong and of a good courage: for unto this people shalt thou divide for an inheritance the land, which I sware unto their fathers to give them.
Joshua’s first challenge as a leader is the river Jordan. Joshua and the children of Israel were sitting and grieving because Moses has died. God speaks to Joshua instructing him to take the children of Israel over the river Jordan into the Promised Land. God promised to take the children of Israel to a land flowing with milk and honey, a promise which did not materialise in the first generation but He says to them “be of good courage” When God says move forward…MOVE. Don’t be discouraged, don’t give up, now is the time to hold on, do not give up, do not look back, look to the promise.
- 3. Endurance – Matthew 24:13 But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved. Faith has many areas which will test our endurance but we are all soldiers in God’s army and have been given the ability to endure to the end. 2 Timothy 2:3 Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. Endurance talks about holding out through thick and thin, hold on and endure to the very end.
- 4. Patience – Romans 5:4 And patience, experience; and experience, hope: Patience is brought about by tribulation.
- Steadfastness – be steadfast and immovable in your loyalty and faithfulness.
- Foundation – Matthew 7 24-27. Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: 25And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock. 26And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: 27And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it.
God will test the foundation of your faith, your faith must be steadfast, stand on Jesus for He is a rock and a sure foundation.
- Test how much of a finisher you are – 2 Timothy 4 5-7. But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry. 6For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand. 7I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith:
2 Corinthians 11, Paul gives an account of his life saying he has been beaten, thrown into prison, shipwrecked, faced death on many occasions all for the gospel and has finished the course.
In the race God’s grace is sufficient, the race isn’t for the swift but for those who can endure to the end. The strength of your faith depends on how you finish the race.
In a race, each runner is placed in a lane to finish the race, God has each one of us running in a lane for a purpose……run in the race God has set before you knowing there is a finish line, look unto Jesus the author and finisher of our Faith.