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Inglesia del Nazareno Communidad de la Esperanza

Sermon Notes

 

January 5, 2014 : HOW GOD TESTS OUR FAITH

 

Dr.  Burnie R.  Burnside

 

Matthew 9:29

 

The Bible says in Matthew 9:29 "It shall be done to you according to your faith." (NASB) What are you expecting God to do in your life? This is called the Law of Expectation. The fact is, we tend to get what we expect out of life. We inevitably accomplish what we expect what we’re going to accomplish.

 

Another important verse on faith in the Bible is Hebrews 11:6. "Without faith it is impossible to please God." God is our heavenly Father and God is pleased when we trust Him. So it’s important to learn how to live expectantly as you learn to live by faith.

 

Job says the same thing speaking from experience in Job 7:17-18 "What is mankind that you make so much of them, that you give them so much attention, 18 that you examine them every morning and test them every moment?”

 

 

God tests our faith through difficulties.

 

The trials and the problems and the difficulties that come into your life come to test your faith and to prove your faith.

 

1 Peter 1:6-7 "In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. 7 These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith ... may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed."

 

Sometimes God has to custom make a problem to teach you faith, to test you.

 

In Jonah 2:7 (NASB) the Bible says, "While I was fainting away, I remembered the LORD, And my prayer came to You.”

 

Isaiah 48:10 "I have refined you though not as silver. I have tested you in the furnace of affliction."

 

James 1:2-3 "Consider it pure joy... whenever you face trials of many kinds because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance."

 

 

God tests our faith through demands.

 

He asks us to do things that are seemingly impossible.

 

Every time God gives us a command in the Bible it is a demand that is placed on our life and it’s a test.

 

Exodus 16:4 "The people are to go out each day and gather enough manna for that day. In that way I will test them and see whether they will follow My instructions."

 

Often God asks us to do the impossible, because He wants to grow our faith.

 

So the Bible says in Hebrews 11:8 "By faith Abraham obeyed and went."

 

 

God tests our faith with dollars.

 

Few people understand how God uses our material possessions as a test of character and a test of faith.

 

Luke 16:11 Jesus says this, "If you haven’t been trustworthy in handling worldly wealth, [That’s money] who will trust you with true riches?"

 

Jesus says if I’m not faithful in handling material wealth He will not trust me with spiritual wealth.

 

What I do with my money really does determine how much God can bless my life.

 

Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 8:7-8 "...Excel in the grace of giving. I’m not commanding you but I want to test the sincerity of your love..."

 

The fact is every time I give to God it breaks the grip of materialism in my life.

 

1 Chronicles 29:14-16 David says this after they’ve all given as a test of their faith. He says, "Who am I, and who are my people that we should be able to give as generously as this? Everything comes from You and we have given You what comes from Your hand. O Lord our God for all this abundance that we have provided for building You a temple for Your Holy Name, it comes from Your hand, and it all belongs to You. [In other words, it’s all God’s in the first place] I know, my God, that You test the heart and are pleased with integrity. All these things that I have given willingly with honest intent and now I see, with joy Your people who are here have given to You."

 

 

God tests our faith through delays.

 

If every prayer were immediately answered, if your every need were automatically met, if every problem were instantly solved you wouldn’t need faith and your faith wouldn’t need to be stretched.

 

The Bible says in Deuteronomy 8:2 "And you shall remember the whole way that the LORD your God has led you these forty years in the wilderness, that he might humble you, testing you to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep his commandments or not."

 

God is more interested in growing our faith than anything else.

 

Isaiah 64:4 "From of old no one has heard or perceived by the ear, no eye has seen a God besides you, who acts for those who wait for him."

 

Remember this: while you are waiting God is working.

 

 

Do you really want God to increase your faith? The apostle said in Luke 17:5 "Lord increase our faith." Are you willing to pray that very dangerous prayer "God, increase my faith."

 

God’s encouragement to you again and again in the Bible is, Don’t give up. Don’t give up. Look up to God. And realize that He is with you. As you and I wait on Him He not only increases our faith but He works out His plan. So pray, Lord, help me to wait patiently.

 

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