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Scripture Reading: John 16:1-4
The Trials of Faith
1. The hour of trial tests our faith: Purifies or destroys, 1 Pet. 1:6-9.
2. The overconfidence of pride and self-righteousness fails to see the danger that is inherent in trials, so it fails to trust in God, 1 Cor. 10:12.
3. Faith sees the benefit of trials in spite of their present pain, and so relies on God to see it through, Jas. 1:2-4.
4. Neglectful, apathetic faith fails to see the benefit of trials and leads to discouragement and doubt when they come, cf. Heb. 12:4-6.
I. JESUS: THE MAN OF SORROWS, Isa. 53:3.
A. Jesus was Acquainted with Grief during His Life, Lk. 9:58; 11:53-54.
B. Acquainted with Grief in His Suffering (Acts 1:3; Lk. 9:22):
1. Grief due to the hurtful attitudes and faithless actions of others in the time of His persecution, Isa. 53:4.
2. Grief due to the crucifixion, Isa. 53:5.
3. Jesus set us the example for us to follow, 1 Pet. 2:20-24.
4. Jesus assures us final rest and peace, 2 Ths. 1:6-7; Rev. 14:12-13.
II. JESUS PROMISED TRIALS DUE TO FAITH, Jno. 16:33, 1-4; 15:18-21.
-Jesus never promised us a rose garden; He promised us a Garden of Gethsemane, where watchful prayer brings divine comfort in the moment of trial and temptation, Matt. 26:38-46.
A. The Trials of Keeping Right Priorities, Mk. 10:29-31 (Matt. 6:33-34).
1. Setting the priority of faith necessitates (demands) sacrifice, 10:28-29; Gal. 2:20.
a. Selfishness rejects sacrifice for personal satisfaction.
b. Illus. Attending all scheduled worship services; Bible reading.
2. Setting the priority of faith necessitates (demands) evaluating true riches, Mk. 10:23-28; 1 Tim. 6:6-10.
a. Materialism rejects priority’s painful sacrifices for immediate profit and pleasure, Heb. 11:25.
b. Illus. Grambling and other covetous conduct, Heb. 13:5-6.
B. The Trials of Persecution, 1 Pet. 3:13-14.
1. Threats from the faithless try to silence the truth, Acts 4:18-20.
2. Illus. Charges of “hate speech” against gospel preaching (abortion, LGBT agenda).
a. A LGBT band marched in the Presidential Inaugural Parade this year; the Civil Rights Movement Float featured “a photo of PFLAG founder, Jeanne Manford and her gay son, Morty--a leader in the struggle for LGBT equality in his own right marching with other LGBT activists forty years ago.” (“Iconic Image Of PFLAG National Founder Highlighted In Inauguration Day Celebration”, Yahoo!News)
b. This is a moral issue! 1 Cor. 6:9-11
c. Are you ready for trials of persecution to come? Acts 21:13-14
C. The Trials of Perseverance, Matt. 10:21-22 (24:12-13).
1. One of the great tests of our faith is the repetitive nature of temptations and trials – Satan and his servants never give up trying to turn you away from Christ!
a. He is always probing for a weak spot to exploit.
b. Illus: Family (Matt. 10:21); Fear of men (Matt. 10:22).
2. We must not grow weary in doing good, Gal. 6:9; 1 Cor. 16:13.
1. We are more than conquerors through Him who loved us, Rom. 8:35-37.
2. Christ is our Defender (Rom. 8:38-39). He has paved the trail through the dark shadows of trials and trouble so our way to the Father is clear, Heb. 2:10; 12:2.
By: Joe R. Price
Posted: January 25, 2013