Faith & Trials

 Simply put, faith in God is cognitive belief based upon a track record of fidelity (trustworthiness), which creates confidence in God, what He has said, He can and will do, and as such it grows into a principle of life for the believer wherein God is trusted to take care of the person; this produces action in the person’s life motivated by this faith and confidence. 

As James says faith is more than mental assent, which the fallen Angels have (James 2:19), because they do not have confidence which changes their behaviors towards God. 

Perhaps the greatest way that we are made in the imageness of God is in regard to our need for trust, for faith, it is that important to God because the need for faith is that important – in fact without it we can never please God (Hebrews 11:5)

Concerning Jesus living a life of faith (Hebrews 12:1-2 – See the article on the faith of Jesus @ LINK), He said of Himself in John 8:29:

And he that sent me is with me: the Father hath not left me alone; for I do always those things that please him.”  

Faith is the foundation of every relationship that humans have.  It is the most important ingredient in every  relationship we will ever have 

How can you marry someone you don’t trust, how can you join in a partnership with someone you don’t trust, how can you do business with someone you don’t trust, the answer is you can’t; at least not without fear and trepidation, coupled with constant vigilance.

(Over the years, psychologists have attempted to say different values are most important to a marriage. First they said love was necessary, yet there are times where you may not love, or even like your spouse; but if you hang in there, it will return. They then said communication was most important, though again there are times when we don’t listen to each other, or don’t communicate well; yet if we hang in there, the relationship can grow. Finally they said that finances were the most important facet of a relationship, yet more families stayed together during the Great Depression and any other time in our history. Because the Bible speaks so highly about faith, perhaps this is why they will never come to understand that the most important ingredient to a marriage or any relationship that you or I will ever have is faith. Because if you can’t trust someone, what is there to build on.) 

Because faith is the basis of relationships, it is in itself a relationship – if you trust somebody that is a relationship, more than robotic choices. 

In the Greek language, faith is never stagnant, it either grows or it diminishes. 

Faith is synonymous with the working of a muscle.  Faith, when placed in someone wherein a relationship is produced, will be tested by trials, wherein the person’s words or deeds will be proven or disproven to be true; wherein the trustworthiness of the person is at stake.      

In the case of God, trials are necessary in that God proves His trustworthiness in the life of the believer. 

Faith, as a muscle is torn by trials (in most cases a synonym for tribulations), then there is relief, and the muscle heals, with yet eventually another tribulation to stretch it even further occurs. 

This is how a physical muscle grows, and this is how Biblical faith grows as well.  Faith cannot grow without tribulation.  Personally, I hate this fact; but it does not change that this is a fact. 

The following Scriptures further validate this point.

James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, to the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad, greeting. My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.”  (James 1:1-4)

 Here we see the progression of faith as it grows, the word here for “patience” is also: “cheerful or hopeful endurance,”  “constancy,” and “patient continuance.” 

That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ  (1 Peter 1:7)

“Expositional Constancy” (Biblical typology), in the Bible always represents fire as judgment, or trials.   The process of gold smelting is one where the gold is placed in fire, and the infirmities are burned away, making the gold pure and of greater value.  Gold can never be burned way itself, only those byproducts which contaminate it.  In spite of the appearance, the fire of the furnace only makes the gold more precious.        

Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy.”  (1 Peter 4:12-13)

The final outcome of a believer growing in faith, as viewed from the bema seat of Christ (Rom. 14:10), where believers will receive award for those actions based upon faith while on this earth, will display its self in either rewards or loss of rewards, hence when we suffer in faith for the glory of Christ, this is where we will be glad with exceeding joy

(Personal Thought: if we trust in God; and in that faith do those things that are pleasing to Him, willing to suffer for Christ’s sake, the rewards we receive in heaven will be more than we can imagine.  I believe this has to do with future work assignments, where we will live, and the amount of fellowship we have with Christ Himself.  If you are the boss, who would you promote to the highest positions, the ones that trusted you the most, and in their actions were willing to suffer for you, and that you could trust the most in return; or those that made it in by the skin of their teeth, whose efforts on Earth were self-centered, producing wood, hay, and stubble; all of which would be consumed by the judgment of God, though they would be saved themselves.  As I have matured in the Lord, there has been a fear I have had for quite a while [but no longer]; that of standing before Christ at the Bema seat judgment – completely naked, with no gifts in my hand.  No gifts, to show my love and gratitude; which would allow me to enter the marriage supper of the Lamb.  Disrespecting my Lord and Savior who died for me by not even having clothes on my back, having barely made it into heaven by the skin of my teeth – what greater contempt and scorn could I display, standing there naked and crying in shame.  Do not be deceived, while there will be no tears in the New Heaven and New Earth, this is long after the Marriage Supper of the Lamb [which takes place in heaven during the Tribulation], and the thousand year reign of Jesus Christ on the Earth [Rev. 21:1-4]The Scripture does not tell us that there will not be regret in heaven at the Bema Seat for rewards lost based upon wrong motivations and actions – wood, hay, and stubble.  This loss of rewards was what Paul was afraid of – 1 Cor. 9:27; Philip. 2:16; Philip. 3:13-14 – but this is for another day)

For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is. If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.” (1 Cor. 3:11-15)    

Last Thought Regarding Believers Rewards
Contextual analysis is the science of studying biblical words according to the context in which they exist within God’s Word as opposed to our current usage of them.

One of the benefits of recognizing all the different applications of a particular word is gained in understanding the nuances and peculiarities that a word may contain.

It is when we take the time to look through God’s Word and note the singular uses of a specific word that we come to understand it more fully.

However, it is in understanding that meanings change according to diverse spellings which effect the inflections of verbs and nouns and other tools of grammar.

Therefore, it is in recognizing specific spellings that one must take note in determining the definition of any given word.

Crowns and Believers
Born-again Christian believers are blessed in many ways.  Not counting the earthly benefits we receive, the pleasure of spending eternity with God, of awaiting Jesus’ return for His own, the “blessed hope,”1 and all the unbelievable treasures we shall enjoy forever in God’s presence.2Beyond all this, believers can achieve the following crowns3 spoken about in God’s Word, they are God’s righteous recognition for the commitment, sacrifice, suffering, and faithfulness we display in producing fruit for the kingdom of God:

Crown of Life: For Suffering for Christ.  (James 1:12; Revelation 2:10)

But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settleyou.”  (1 Peter 5:10)

Crown of Righteousness: For the Love of His Appearing (II Timothy 4:8)

Then they that feared the LORD spake often one to another: and the LORD hearkened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before him for them that feared the LORD, and that thought upon his name.”  (Malachi 3:16)

Crown of Glory: For Feeding His Sheep.  (I Peter 5: 2-4)

So when they had dined, Jesus saith to Simon Peter, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest [agapao = “highest regard”] thou me more than these?  He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love [phileo = “affection”] thee.  He saith unto him, Feed my lambs.  He saith to him again the second time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest [agapao = “highest regard”] thou me?  He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love [phileo = “affection”] thee.  He saith unto him, Feed my sheep.  He saith unto him the third time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest [phileis/phileo = “affection”] thou me?  Peter was grieved because he said unto him the third time, Lovest [phileo = “affection”] thou me?  And he said unto him, Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love [phileo =“affection”] thee.

Jesus saith unto him, Feed my sheep.”  (John 21:15-17)  Feeding sheep refers to leading & teaching disciples / the local church, even if the pastor is lacking.

Crown Incorruptible: For Those That Press On Steadfastly (I Corinthians 9: 24-25)

Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.  No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier.  And if a man also strive for masteries, yet is he not crowned, except he strive lawfully.”  (2 Timothy 2:3-5)

Crown of Rejoicing: For Winning Souls.  (I Thessalonians 2:19)

For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.  How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed?  And how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard?  And how shall they hear without a preacher?  And how shall they preach, except they be sent?  as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!”  (Romans 10:13-15)

Endnotes
This teaching was originally presented by Leonard Ravenhill, who is a great Biblical teacher of teachers, though others have acted like they discovered this teaching, they have not, and should have given Rev. Ravenhill credit – Chuck Missler for one.

1
. Titus 2:13; Romans 8:20, 24-25, 15:4.
2. Matthew 6:20, 19:21; Luke 12:33, 18:22.
3. Revelation 3:11

This is short, at least for me.  Brent

2 comments

  1. Hi! Thank you for ur ministry outreach. After reading this short faith article i tried to find the referenced article, “Rewards & Inheritance” to no avail. Just wondering if it may have been titled something else perhaps? i was surprised to read that there would be a requirement for attending the marriage supper of the Lamb, of which u feared not having a gift for. I will search a little more but thought i’d go ahead & ask here in hopes of reaching u. Thanks!

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  2. Gwen,
    This is a teaching that I intended to publish, and was in draft form when I created the article entitled faith and trials.

    Because of its controversy I decided not to publish this piece.

    I don’t feel confident enough to go further in this issue at this time. I need to edit this out and thank you for bringing it to my attention – which I juat did.

    I do see that one of the things I needed to add to this article is the following which you may find fruitful, it regards the rewards that believers receive in heaven dealing with five crowns at the Bible speaks about, crowns that are given to believers having went through certain situations for their Lord and Savior. I’m going to leave the footnotes section for an article entitled: “THE BRIDE OF CHRIST – IS NOT THE CHURCH, SOLELY,” the link to this article is:

    https://faithbibleministriesblog.com/2013/01/11/the-bride-of-christ-is-not-the-church-solely/

    Also at the bottom I will leave a link concerning possible differences in rewards in heaven and differences in punishments in hell, which is intriguing. If there any other questions or if you really want to pursue this issue please leave me an email and I will communicate with you via email. Thanks again for the comment.

    Endnote
    1. Three Groups of People That Are Saved – That Are Saints
    When addressing the subject of biblical salvation, that is salvation that is based solely on what God’s Word says, we must understand that there are 3 groups which make up those that are saved.

    1) There are the Old Testament Saints (Hebrew: kaw-doshe; Greek: hagios; both meaning: sacred, separated, consecrated, holy, Saint – is used to refer to the saved person) that were saved because of their faith in God as He would provide the redemption necessary for them to be made right with Him. Because Christ had not yet come to open the way to heaven for those that were saved (He was that redemption – the means of salvation to those in the Old Testament), when they died, they were held in a temporary paradise (Hebrew: Goebel) referred to as Abraham’s bosom (Luke 16:22-23), and when Christ died He emptied out this temporary place, and took those Old Testament saints with Him to heaven (“Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men.” ~ Ephesians 4:8; which is a quotation of Psalms 68:18). While most of these individuals are Israelites, there are many Gentiles (Greek: ethnos; means: specifically a foreign [non-Jewish] person, Gentile, he then, nation, or people), who were saved (Isaiah 56:6-7) such as: Enoch, Rahab, Ruth, Nebuchadnezzar, and Naaman.

    2) The second group of saints are the church, (1 Corinthians 12:27), also referred to as the “Body of Christ” (“And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ” ~ Ephesians 4:11-12; 1 Corinthians 12:12-27)

    3) The third group of saints are those saved during the Great tribulation composed of Jews as well as Gentiles (Revelation 14:1-13), not gifted the same as the church concerning the indwelling of the Holy Spirit specifically to each believer, yet displaying the Holy Spirit in the same as seen in the Old Testament where miracles and signs were displayed (such as the two witnesses – Revelation 11:3).

    2. Rewards to Believers – 5 Categories – 5 Crowns
    Born-again Christian believers are blessed in many ways. Not counting the earthly benefits we receive, the pleasure of spending eternity with God, of awaiting Jesus’ return for His own, the “blessed hope,”1 and all the unbelievable treasures we shall enjoy forever in God’s presence.2

    Beyond all this, believers can achieve the following crowns3 spoken about in God’s Word, they are God’s righteous recognition for the commitment, sacrifice, suffering, and faithfulness we display in producing fruit for the kingdom of God:

    Crown of Life: For Suffering for Christ. (James 1:12; Revelation 2:10)

    “But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you.” (1 Peter 5:10)

    Crown of Righteousness: For the Love of His Appearing. (II Timothy 4:8)

    “Then they that feared the LORD spake often one to another: and the LORD hearkened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before him for them that feared the LORD, and that thought upon his name.” (Malachi 3:16)

    Crown of Glory: For Feeding His Sheep. (I Peter 5: 2-4)

    “So when they had dined, Jesus saith to Simon Peter, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest [agapao = “highest regard”] thou me more than these? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love [phileo = “affection”] thee. He saith unto him, Feed my lambs. He saith to him again the second time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest [agapao = “highest regard”] thou me? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love [phileo = “affection”] thee. He saith unto him, Feed my sheep. He saith unto him the third time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest [phileis/phileo = “affection”] thou me? Peter was grieved because he said unto him the third time, Lovest [phileo = “affection”] thou me? And he said unto him, Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love [phileo = “affection”] thee.

    Jesus saith unto him, Feed my sheep.” (John 21:15-17) Feeding sheep refers to leading & teaching disciples / the local church, even if the pastor is lacking.

    Crown Incorruptible: For Those That Press On Steadfastly. (I Corinthians 9: 24-25)

    “Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier. And if a man also strive for masteries, yet is he not crowned, except he strive lawfully.” (2 Timothy 2:3-5)

    Crown of Rejoicing: For Winning Souls. (I Thessalonians 2:19)

    “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!” (Romans 10:13-15)

    Rewards Notes:

    1. Titus 2:13; Romans 8:20, 24-25, 15:4.

    2. Matthew 6:20, 19:21; Luke 12:33, 18:22.

    3. Revelation 3:11

    3. Other Figures of Speech – Titles, Terms & Expressions
    Other example of Figures of Speech which God using names and titles to identify and describe the Messiah, such as: The Seed of the woman,7 Shiloh,8 The Stone of Israel,9 The Peace Offering,10 The Captain of the host of the Lord,11 The Rock of my salvation,12 The Light of Men,13 My Shield,14 My Glory,15 The Lifter Up of mine head,16 My Fortress,17 My Shepard,18 A Stranger and an alien,19 God’s Firstborn,20 The Branch of the Lord,21 The Child,22 A Sanctuary,23 Wonderful,24 Counsellor,25 The Mighty God,26 The Prince of Peace,27 A Rod of the steam of Jesse,28 Shadow from the Heart,29 The Lamb of God,30 The Messiah,31 Savior,32 Bread of life,33 The Foundation,34 The Word of life,35 The Resurrection,36 The Holy One,37 The Alpha and Omega,38 The Way, The Truth and The Life.39 This is only 3340 of the [over?] 333 known allusions to Jesus Christ: His Person, His pre-existence, His Human Birth, His Life, His Teaching, His Mission, His Death, His Resurrection, His Return, His Rule on earth and in heaven, His Glory, His Preeminence, and His Deity. (An excellent resource concerning figures of speech can be found in the work of E. W. Bollinger – see #41)

    ARE THERE DEGREES OF TORMENT IN HELL AND DEGREES OF REWARD IN HEAVEN & ARE ALL SINS THE SAME WITH GOD?

    https://faithbibleministriesblog.com/2015/01/02/re-edited-are-there-degrees-of-torment-in-hell-and-degrees-of-reward-in-heaven-are-all-sins-the-same-with-god/

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Faith Bible Ministries Blog ~ An Online Study of the Bible

“So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- This online Bible study series addresses primary New Testament words in their original language - Koinè Greek - as opposed to mainly using the English translations; which is like adding color to a black-and-white picture.

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"So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God"

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"So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God"

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