When God Tries You
For printable pdf format, Click on the link below
Link: Pulpit Article When God Tries You
When God Tries You
Trials. Where do they come from? What is their purpose? While we understand that God is not the author of all things that we will encounter in this life, we do know the bible teaches there are times when God will try you; prove you, to not only see what is in your heart, but also reveal to you what is in your heart. Deuteronomy 8. These trials are not designed to break us, but to mold and make us into the image God desires us to be!
A fining pot for silver, a furnace for gold, but God trieth the hearts! Proverbs 17:3, Psalm 7:9
Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations: that the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, may be found unto praise and honor and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ. 1 Peter 1:6-7.
If you consider a potter who molds clay into the image that he has already seen in his mind, this is God’s intention for trials that come in our lives from the Lord. We cannot confuse trials from the Lord with temptations. The Lord plainly said He does not tempt man with sin. James 1:13. Satan’s temptations seek to destroy us while The Lord’s trials seek to build us. Let’s take a look at two storms that arose in the lives of the disciples during the days of Jesus’ ministry here upon the earth. As we proceed through this, we get the realization that God was at work attempting to prepare the disciples for Jesus’ departure. We must understand that we cannot walk by sight, we MUST walk by faith. The disciples were obviously settled as long as they were in the constant presence of Jesus, as we all would be. But Jesus was about to go away, and the disciples would need to know that they could not limit Jesus and what He could and would do in their lives.
Ship in the first Storm
The disciples were about to learn a valuable lesson that would forever change their lives to the good. When God does something in your life, it is always to mold you and make you into the image of His Son. Jesus had told them to go to the other side of the sea. As they sailed across the sea of Galilee, the storm started coming at them. Here we have in the ship the chosen disciples of the church; every follower of Jesus Christ who had forsaken all to follow him. Most of these men were fishermen, so they were no doubt acquainted with storms and the sea. But like most of us who have ever been on the water when a storm arose, we always headed for shore at the first threat. These men resisted their natural instinct to turn and head back to shore. They were commanded to go to the other side. If God has commanded that you do something, you can rest assured that He will be with you every step of the way. But I personally believe that there were weaknesses in the disciples faith that Jesus had to remove from their heart. Jesus knew his disciples. He knew them better than they knew themselves. He knew their breaking point. Therefore, it was necessary for the disciples to allow Jesus to remove the things in their lives that would forever hinder them as followers of Christ. After all, these 12 men would be the ambassadors that would carry Christ’s gospel to the ends of the earth.
The waves began to crash onto and into the ship. No doubt the waves were so great that they lost their balance and had to adjust themselves in order to regain it. Now the waves had crashed so greatly and the ship was rocking so violently that the ship started taking on water so that it was now full. At what point do we wake Jesus up? How bad does it have to get before we ask Jesus to intercede? The disciples finally cry out, “Master, carest thou not that we perish?” Can you answer that question? Does Jesus care that we perish? Of course He cares! Jesus cares about what your going through. He arose and rebuked the winds and the waves saying, “Peace, Be still!” and immediately the winds calmed. Immediately the waves died down!
I can just see the disciples faces. I’ve been there. I’ve seen things like this in my own journey as a child of God. I’ve been there when it looked as though I was in the midst of something that I had wondered if Jesus was big enough! I know that’s sad to say but it is totally true. I’m just being real right here. I honestly have wondered if there was hope for the situation I was in the midst of. The disciples had already seen Jesus do some great things. They had seen the sick healed. They had seen devils cast out of children. They had seen the deaf, blind, halt, withered, lepers healed, but this was different. This is a different trial. This is a different situation. We are talking about a storm. We’re talking about the weather! Surely Jesus isn’t master of the winds, is He? They call out to Jesus. As the seas and winds calm, all of a sudden there is a new reality of this Jesus! There’s a new revelation of who this man is! “What manner of man is this that even the winds and the seas obey him?” What manner of man indeed! The disciples got a clearer picture that day of who was in the boat with them. Jesus had proven to them that he was a healer of the sick, but was He Lord of All? Was He master over everything? Psalm 89:9.
God puts us in places at times so that we can see Him in a greater; more exalted way. Jesus died on the cross for us, but will He deliver me in this that I’m going through? I know He was chastised so that I could have peace, but I’m in the midst of a situation that I’m not sure if He can or will meet? Do you ask those questions? He does not want you to doubt what He can do. He doesn’t want you to be fearful in times of storm, friend. Trials are God’s way of stretching us so that we can never look at storms the same way ever again! The next storm that blows through will not shake you like this one did. It will not be able to rock you as before. You’ve gotten a hold of a truth in Christ that He is a very present help in time of need. Psalm 46.
So what looked like total devastation turned out to be a trial that taught the disciples more than anything else could. Don’t be discouraged when you are in the midst of a trial. God is about to show you what He can do so that you will never be terrified of storms again. There may be storms that arise in your life, but you know the Master of the Winds! They got off the ship that day with a better understanding of who was in the midst of them and what He was capable of. But still, they hadn’t fully grasped who He was! They had more to learn. So do we!
Ship in the Second Storm
So this time Jesus constrains His disciples; meaning He compels them to get onboard and launch onto the other side. Seems like familiar territory. The disciples have been in the sea before. So what’s the big deal? The bible doesn’t say how long the disciples were in the sea before this storm. Jesus had been in a mountain praying. The bible says that Jesus saw them in the midst of the sea toiling and rowing with the winds fighting them. Does Jesus see what you’re going through? Are you like lot of people who think that Jesus doesn’t care or doesn’t see what we are going through?
This was a different trial than before. A ship, the Sea of Galilee, a storm; sounds familiar, doesn’t it? The last time Jesus was in the boat with them; this time He isn’t! The trial you go through today may not be the same as the trial you faced yesterday. No doubt the disciples had seen Jesus calm the storm already; but He was in the ship with them before. This time Jesus is nowhere to be found. What was God teaching the disciples?
Seems like we can do okay with the trials we’re going through as long as we can see the Lord at work. As long as we can feel the Spirit of God, we are okay; but God is in the business of stretching us beyond what we can comprehend. Why does the Lord allow this kind of trial to come into our lives? I think the answer is simpler than we may think. This whole life is full of ups and downs. One day the water is smooth! The next day it is turbulent. One day peace reigns supreme and the next day our hearts grow faint because of a circumstance or situation we or someone we know finds themselves in. God wants to bring us to a place where we don’t allow the events of this world to shake us from the hope that we have in Him. Remember this; Jesus is the Rock and the Rock CANNOT be moved! He cannot be shaken! Satan cannot shake Jesus! The only thing Satan can do is to try to get you lured off of the Rock so he can destroy you. He will not be able to destroy you as long as you stay on the Rock!
So the disciples find themselves in a boat, in the midst of the sea, in a storm but Jesus isn’t around. All of a sudden they see Jesus walking on the waves and He’s walking toward the ship! They think He is a spirit! I would’ve too! But when they realize it’s Jesus, they call out to him and He enters the ship. Okay let me get this straight; first Jesus is calming the storm with His word, now He’s walking on the waves? I can just hear one of the disciples saying, ‘What manner of man is this?” As soon as Jesus enters the boat, the wind ceases! Wow, what a Jesus! What a savior is mine! He is greater than anything that I face! Jesus is King over every situation! There’s nothing that Jesus cannot conquer! Do you have a situation today that you find yourself doubting or wondering if God will meet you? Is there anything too hard for God? Is there anything that God can’t do? Is God really going to be there every time that I call on him? Does He care enough about little ole me to intervene in everything that I’m going through? Your trials are not necessarily to strengthen you, but to make you realize that you can trust Jesus! He really is who He says He is! He really cares about every area of your life. Matthew 10:28 says Come unto me, all ye that are weary and heavy laden, and I will give you rest! What a wonderful Jesus! His love cannot be measured! He wants us to be able to face the storms of this life with the realization that nothing is too hard for God! He doesn’t want us to panic or walk in fear when the enemy shall come in like a flood upon us! He wants us to face this world realizing that greater is He that is within me than he that is in the world. Don’t allow trials to destroy you; God is trying to build His rapport with you. If you’ll let Him have His way with you, God will build a testimony in your life that can be such a blessing to the world that really needs hope in the midst of a hopeless situation.
A fining pot for silver, a furnace for gold, but God trieth the hearts! Proverbs 17:3, Psalm 7:9
The purpose for placing silver in a fining pot is not to destroy the silver, but to refine it. When silver is mined out of the earth, it contains many impurities. Gold is the same way. Gold is placed in a furnace. The furnace does not ruin the gold, it actually makes it better.
But God trieth the hearts. So we see now why God tries our hearts. If you are in the midst of a trial right now, don’t fret because God is going to bring forth something very wonderful in you!
Job declared in
Job 23:8-10, “Behold, I go forward, but he is not there; and backward, but I cannot perceive him: One the left hand, where he doth work, but I cannot behold him: he hideth himself on the right hand, and I cannot see him: But he knoweth the way that I take: when he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold.”