When God Tests Your Faith

When God Tests Your Faith

High above any other gauge that is used to test the quality of anything with measurable properties, God’s standard on testing our faith is way beyond comparison. When God tests our faith He may bluntly have us face the blank side of the wall without any clue on what’s waiting for us on the other side. His ways of putting our faith into the test is not within the limited boundaries of mankind’s comprehension.

Within man’s understanding, God’s sovereign ways may seem to be unreasonable and perhaps, sometimes felt to be unjustifiable. For what then is meant for Him to be the God of the universe, the Creator of heaven and earth, the King of kings if He makes no difference from the ways of men. Who are we to question His ways?

As believers and faithful followers of Jesus we face different levels of intensity on the testing of our faith. Yours maybe different from mine and different from the others. But every test of faith is a chance to show your trust, obedience and love for God. When God tests your faith, take it as an opportunity for you to achieve a most-deserved promotion in His kingdom.

When God tests your faith, He neither looks after your age or how long you have been born again. In the life of Abraham, at a biologically elderly age, he too was not spared from what I consider a paramount kind of testing for his faith. In Genesis 22:1-19 (paraphrased here below), Abraham’s faith in God is well described and teaches us how we too should respond when we face our own test of faith.

Abraham’s Faith in God is Sensitive

It was most-likely that whenever God calls Abraham, He is into something really big! With his usual readiness getting into service, Abraham reported on duty to His master, “Here I am!” (Genesis 22:1) He presented himself in promptitude as God called his name.

It could be a calling, a request, a command, an instruction that God has called out your name. We have to be always sensitive to God’s calling no matter what situation, circumstances or time we are in. He calls you for a purpose and that is to grace you with His blessings! Let our response be the same as Abraham’s, “Here I am!” (See also Isaiah 6:8.)

Abraham’s faith in God is Submissive

“Take, go and offer Isaac.” (Genesis 22:2) To Abraham at that time, God’s vivid instruction could have been similar to the reverberating sound of a gunshot in the air. I can only imagine the ticking of the clock frozen within that very moment. The instruction was perhaps beyond Abraham’s ingenious understanding.

However hard it was to understand, it was with God’s grace, the instruction never got over his submissiveness to God. Just like how it would be to any father of a beloved son, Abraham surely was pondering with a somewhat disturbed heart. Yet, his quiet response with submissiveness was on top of the situation.

Many among us while claiming to be followers of Jesus, submit indiscriminately to God’s instructions. We rather choose to submit only to that which will not hurt us. We tend to turn our eyes and our ears away from anything that could mean giving-up our precious possession, status in life and our pride. “Anything Lord, tell unto me and I will follow.” (See also Psalm 143:10.)

Abraham’s Faith in God is Enthusiastic

Without further delay and without wasting any single moment, Abraham rose up early morning the very next day and nobody less than himself prepared the firewood and saddled his donkey for the journey to the offering place, the mountains of Moriah (Genesis 22:3).

What an enthusiastic manner of obeying God’s instruction! It was the same instruction which might have madly made his heart beat faster, that he is enthusiastically obeying that early morning of the very next day! Abraham knows God’s business so well. He knew who gives the orders and who carries them out. He knew that there was no point of lying back on his couch while hoping for God to change His mind.

Whenever God sends us the signal and raises His mighty hand, let us believe in Him and get it done. Never put aside for some other time what God wants you to do this very moment. Get yourself ready the way He wanted it to be and say, “I am ready Lord, let’s go!”

Abraham’s Faith in God is Endurant

It would have only taken a bit of Abraham’s effort to pull the donkey tack and say “It’s over, let us go back.” Within the three-day journey to the mountains of Moriah (Genesis 22:4), every single second of it could have been an unbearable torment to Abraham. It is a long journey towards the place where he has to lay down his burnt offering, who is no lesser than his beloved son, Isaac.

All along the duration of the journey, his head must have been spinning around with thoughts on how he will make his way back later on to his wife Sarah without Isaac, their beloved son. Instead of turning back, he obediently endured all the pain and heartaches a father would undoubtedly have felt on what awaits them.

The inevitable is a step closer on every move they make. Albeit the long journey, there is no point of return without carrying on his obedience to the God he believes in and serves.

Many amongst us will turn back, halfway to the place where the Lord is leading us. We can barely endure life’s torment along the rocky road we need to take. But we need to look forward to the glory that’s waiting for us rather than looking back at the torment we have been through. “I will keep pressing forward knowing that the Lord is waiting there at the end.” (See Phil 3:13.)

Abraham’s Faith in God is Determined

Abraham is that much determined to obey what he was told to do such that he will take away any obstacle that may cut through his way. Ascending up the mountains would have been much easier with the help of his two servants to take the load of the firewood they bring.

Knowing that his servants would surely get into his way and do whatever it takes to stop him from offering Isaac, he told them to stay behind (Genesis 22:5). Abraham got rid of the obstacles in carrying out what he has to.

Life is full of distraction, full of obstacles in getting things done the way we were told to. We tend to forget to focus on our goal and get influenced by our surroundings, by the people and the surrounding circumstances. Where He leads me, I will follow, no turning back.” (See Deuteronomy 5:32 & Luke 9:62.)

Abraham’s Faith in God is Steadfast

Abraham’s steadfast faith in God gave him the strength to raise up the knife and aimed to stab Isaac after binding him on the offering altar (Genesis 22:9-10;). I can just imagine the pain he must have felt in his heart as he raises up the knife towards his very own beloved son. This he bears, with the strong faith in the One who told him to do as he did.

He believes that God will fulfill His promise that he will be blessed with many nations through Isaac. If so, how can he aim to kill his own son, the channel of God’s promise? Abraham believed that no matter what, God will restore Isaac to fulfill His promise! (see Hebrews 11:17-19). His duty is to obey and believe. The rest is up to God.

Our faith in God must be unconditionally steadfast. We cannot say “I believe” with a single spot of doubt in our heart for this is foolish in the eyes of God. When God says so, He means so. Lord, help me sustain my faith,” (see also Isaiah 41:10).

What about Your Faith in God?

When God tests your faith, do you spend more time focusing on complaining rather than obeying? Do you keep your mind busy thinking what God needs to do for you rather than thinking what you can do for Him? Just like Abraham, we too need to raise up the knife in our own test of faith and aim steadfastly without doubting that God is watching on how we really trust Him.

God saw how faithful Abraham was up to this point where he needed to give up his beloved son in obedience to God’s instruction of test. God, through his angel stopped Abraham from killing Isaac and provided a substitute offering by means of a ram (Genesis 22:11-14). With an enduring display of faith, God has affirmed His promise to Abraham to bless him with many nations through his son Isaac (Genesis 22:15-19).

Abraham clearly showed his obedience with faith. Why did God put Abraham into test when he has already proven to be a faithful servant of God? Only God knows the real answer to this. Based on the scriptures, we can only suppose that God tested him to know if He is still sovereign in Abraham’s life notwithstanding Abraham’s immeasurable love for his son, Isaac.

Abraham did not only obey but he firmly believed in the promises of God. Did God bless Abraham because of his obedience? God fulfilled His promise that Abraham and his offspring will be heirs of the world because of his righteousness that comes from faith (see Romans 4:13-14).

Recommended Resource: 

The Testing of God’s Sons – eBook
By Gregory S. SmithThere exists a general lack of biblical understanding for the idea of “testing” that emerges in the Old Testament as a significant theological theme. The faithful from both Old Testament and New Testament times are tested for their faith. This kind of experience often involves enduring hardship and difficult times. While often confused with the biblical idea of “temptation,” the biblical idea of testing stems from a metallurgical background and carries a unique covenantal function. Testing will be at the center of how God responds to the rebellion of his people and reveals God’s primary concern for the faith of his saints.The Testing of God’s Sons focuses on the language of testing and explores the semantic range for the idea of testing that draws from both the biblical context, as well as the world of the ancient Near East. This study then focuses on the often overlooked Joseph narrative and its unique contribution to the theology of testing that is presented by the rest of the Pentateuch. Finally, the remainder of the biblical texts are investigated on the theme of testing. The last chapter shows the fact that God tests His sons – Adam, Abraham, Joseph, Moses, Job, Israel and even Christ.

It is through the experience of God’s tested sons that believers are invited to more fully and deeply understand their own experience of testing.

11 Replies to “When God Tests Your Faith”

  1. Hi.

    I think it is very true that we don’t really like testing and also that it is a very good opportunity to grow in our faith.

    Your study of Abraham’s faith was very enlightening, interesting and easy to comprehend. A very good teaching that makes one think about the state of their own faith. I liked how you divided it up to show the different aspects of that faith.

    I think it is strange that if you take the first letters of your aspects, as I have done below, it spells seeds.

    S – sensitive and submissive
    E – enthusiastic
    E – Endurant
    D – Determined
    S – Steadfast

    Seeds of faith?

    Jeannie

    1. Hi Jeannie,

      Thanks for your kind words.

      Your profound thinking has inspired me more! I am sure that you are not only a keen observer but a very creative person too!

      Yes, it’s sometimes saddening to know that we wanted to be blessed but not to be tested. Of course we know that it doesn’t work that way. God puts us into tests so He can bless us more!

      God bless you, Jeannie!

  2. Bro. Jess Cortez,
    Thank you so much for the opportunity to reflect on the obedience of Abraham. Abraham must have had such faith in God his heart did not question the order to use Isaac as an offering. Abraham acted like somehow, he knew God would make it right if he surrendered and carried out God’s instructions.
    Would you please pray for me, Bro. Jess, that I might find such faith? DDee

    1. Hi Dee! Thank you for sharing your insights.

      Although the bible is not explicitly narrating the inner feelings of Abraham at that time, he could be having a heavy sorrowful heart at that time. I am a father too and I could not imagine myself being in the shoes of Abraham. However, Abraham’s faith and love for God overcomes his personal sentiments and is a solid inspiration for us!

      Praying for such faith as Abraham’s is a great step forward in leveling-up to a matured Christian life. I pray that God will prepare you for the desires of your heart!

      God bless!

  3. When it comes to personal faith, nothing, compared to the faith of Abraham, when he was obedient to God’s commandment, of offering to Him, his only beloved son, who he conceived when in his late 90s!
    What an amazing sacrifice, really depicting The sacrifice God Himself went through with, when He sent His only begotten son, to earth, to be our propriation for our sin, on the cross at Calvary, once and for all!
    Thank you Jesus…

    1. Hi! Thanks for taking time to read and share your insights.

      Indeed, Abraham’s faith in God is indisputable. He bears it through something that requires a genuinely obedient, submissive and a faithful heart.

      Yes, it depicts the sacrifice of God himself only with the big difference that Jesus, the only begotten son of God who is spotless of sin, died and rose again for us!

      God bless you!

  4. for about 2 years my faith in god has flourished and I know that being a christian is way harder than being a normal person because it is not ourselves that we need to satisfy but it is god in Christ Jesus who live in us that we need to satisfy. We must live for him because he died for us and I believe that each and everyone of us has our own calling and purpose. Thank you for this wonderfully written blog. I hope and pray that more people will be encouraged by this 🙂

    1. Hello Anfernee! As a Christian, we are living a new life out from darkness because of Jesus’ work on our salvation. Being cleansed by His blood, we were clothed with His robe of righteousness. We are the salt and the light of this world (see Matthew 5:13-16). Because of that, we have to live a righteous life and that makes it different from the life of others.

      Harder life? Yes, I may say so, only if we focus more on the challenges rather than the greatness that the Lord Jesus Christ can do in our lives. We are heading to a victorious life with Him on our side.

      Always have a joyful life because Jesus loves you!

  5. I could never imagine how difficult it was for Abraham to sacrifice his beloved son Isaac. The Bible does not record Abraham’s emotional reaction but he must have felt terrible. We know from the Bible how long he and his wife Sara have waited for the fulfillment of God’s promise of an heir through whom He will bless the nations. Although God already knew Abraham’s faith, God wanted him to prove it through his action. But Abraham believed in God’s promise that he will become a father of many nations and that the nations will be blessed through him. So even if God would have really required Isaac’s life, He would still fulfill His promise to bless Abraham. It’s the same thing with us today. Although God will never ask us to literally kill or sacrifice someone we love so dear , He may ask us to give up something or someone to prove our love and commitment to Him. How do we respond when God tests our faith?

    1. God is truly amazing in all His ways and because of His sovereignty, He owes nobody an explanation of whatever He works out in our lives. Anyways, God knows what is best for us… if we only learn to trust and obey!

      The scriptures encourages us to put our faith into action. (James 2:17). This perhaps is to make our strength and weakness known to us.

      In whatever circumstances, your response reflects the contents of your heart (Luke 6:45)

      1. That is so true! God owes us nothing! God’s ways may seem harsh, irrational or dysfunctional from a human perspective but at the end of the day the sovereignty of God remains unquestionable and indisputable.

        Isaiah 46:9-10 “Remember the former things of old, For I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like Me, Declaring the end from the beginning, And from ancient times things that are not yet done, Saying, ‘My counsel shall stand, And I will do all My pleasure.”

        Are we going to bow down in submission to God or do we choose to question His actions in rebellion? The choice is ours!

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