Christian Walk - Trials and Tests

If you know you’re in the right place and the right position, why is your ministry and your family being attacked?

That’s a great question. If you know you’re in the right place, you know you’re in the right ministry, you know you’re doing the will of God, why does your family get attacked? Well, because Satan is a thief. He’s a liar and a thief. He comes to steal, kill and destroy. And he knows that if he can strike you down, he can stop the work or he can at least make an attempt to stop the work. I still don’t think he’s going to succeed. He can’t succeed. But he’s going to try to succeed. He tries to attack because he thinks if he can affect you and if he can pull you down, he can stop the work of God in your life and through your life.

You know, when a football team is playing another team and they know that one of their defenders is injured or if one of their defenders is not very good, then they take advantage of them. They take advantage of a weakness to beat them. And that’s what Satan does. He tries to take advantage of a weakness in your life to try to defeat you and to try to beat you. And you just got to have your guard up. The Bible says, “keep up your shield of faith which will extinguish all the fiery darts of the wicked one.

We all go through trials. We all have to fight the fight of faith. We all have to deal with life’s tribulations and we have to rejoice and count it all joy when we encounter trials and keep up our shield of faith. God wants us to experience victory, but there is a battle sometimes. And what is that battle? The battle is to keep our faith. And that’s what Satan wants to do is to shipwreck our faith and get us to lower our shield of faith. Are you finding yourself in trials that you never thought you’d be in? Well, join the club, man, because you’re not alone. We’re all in this thing together and we all have to deal with trials that we didn’t expect.

How do you deal with a trial? The Bible says in James 1:3, “Count it all joy when you encounter various trials and don’t let go of your faith and endure.” You endure. Don’t quit. Don’t give up. And on the other side of it, you’re going to have absolute victory. And in our weakness, He is strong. But in our weakness, we need to rely on His strength. When we’re weak, we need to look to God, we need to turn to Him, we need to call upon Him and ask for His help and never get out there on our own.

You know, when Satan knows that you and God are in this thing together, he starts leaving you alone. When he thinks that you’re doing it all yourself, and make him think that you’re on your own, then you’re a sitting duck. But when you call on the name of Jesus, when you speak the Word of God, you are fortifying yourself with the strength that only God can provide and Satan will flee. The Bible says in James 4:7, “Submit to God, resist the devil and he will flee from you.”

Christian Walk - Trials and Tests

I got involved in a couple of ministries at my church. It was really tough and I have been going through a lot and it was just more than I can handle. So, my question is “how do you know when something is a test or when something is just not for you?”

So, you got involved and maybe you overextended yourself and now you’re starting to ask, “Should I be involved?” or “was it wrong for me to be involved?”, or “was it wrong for me to quit my involvement?” How do you know if that’s just a test that you’re going through or if that’s just something that you were never called to do? I think a lot of people deal with that. I think that most of the tests that we ever go through are tests of our attitude. That’s where we have to pass the test.

There are times when what we’re doing is not something that we need to be doing, it’s not something that God intended for us to do, it’s not something that we were supposed to do, it’s not something that He wants us to do forever, but what he does want is for us to pass the test of our attitude. He wants us to have a good attitude, the attitude of a servant, the attitude to lay down our life, to be somebody who is not just doing it as it feels good for us. Because maybe you get involved in an area of ministry and you’re really excited about it, but then, when you lose your excitement for it, you want to quit and you say, “well, it’s too hard and maybe the commitment is too great,” so maybe you just want to basically throw in the towel. And you failed that test if that’s what happened. Now, the test is going to come again. So you might as well pass it the next time it comes, otherwise, you’re going to just keep repeating it and taking it over and over again.

So, you really got to pass the test and the way that you do that in areas of ministry and in areas of serving is you make a commitment for a time frame that everybody is agreed about. Let’s say you’re serving in the singing ministry or you’re serving in the helps ministry or the prayer ministry, make a commitment for six months or ask the Department leader how long of a commitment they’re asking of you. And make a commitment. You pass the test throughout the duration of that time-frame. You’re going to have attitudes that rise up in you and you’re going to have to stay in there and not give up.

And then at the end of that period of time that you agreed upon, you reevaluate and you decide if you should continue in that area of ministry or if you should not. And you should talk with the people who are overseeing that ministry and you should ask them how they feel about it. You should pray about it and seek the Lord about it, but in the end, you should be faithful to your commitment to your time-frame in which it’s defined clearly at the onset, so that you don’t have to be extended forever or for the rest of your life and then feel like you’re quitting or giving up.

Again, check your heart, check your attitude and never give up on people, especially when they need you and then you feel like, “well, God told me that I don’t need to do this anymore.” But if you made a commitment, then you should honor that. Unless they don’t need you anymore. And if they release you from it, then that’s different. But if they need you, don’t give up on them.

Christian Walk - Trials and Tests

All my life, my enemies have triumphed over me. Job after job, those who backbite, slack off, etc. they’re the ones that get the promotions and favor while I’m always demoted, fired or forced to do something else. Does this mean I have no favor with God?

Absolutely not. You do have favor with God. If you’re a Christian, if you’re a child of God, Psalm 5:12 says, “the Lord surrounds the righteous with favor like a shield,” so I want to encourage you to expect favor. The Bible says that Jesus said, “The spirit of the Lord is upon me. He’s anointed me to preach the gospel.” And then at the end of that passage, He said, “He’s anointed me to preach the favorable year of the Lord, or the year of God’s favor.” And He said, “This day, this scripture is fulfilled in your ears.” This is the year of favor for you.

Now, what do you do to experience that favor? What you got to do is you got to make sure that you’re believing God’s Word (number one), that you’re standing on God’s promises (number two), that you’re being the best worker that you can possibly be (number three) and number four, that you do not hold bitterness towards those who are being promoted. Because when you’re being faithful, when the Son of Man returns from heaven into this earth, He’s looking for two things: faith and faithfulness. And if you’re being faithful, the Bible says in Proverbs 28:20, “A faithful man will abound with blessings.” So favor will surround you if you’re being faithful.

Christian Walk - Trials and Tests

Sometimes I get confused when I see people going through oppression or something that just doesn’t seem right and people will say, “this doesn’t have the flavor of God” or “this doesn’t seem like it’s God.” And so, it gets quickly handed to “Satan is attacking you.” How do you really know if it really isn’t God that’s trying to prune you or just putting you through a trial to be tested or something? And so quickly, people want to rebuke Satan.

I think that I’ve found that people either come to the conclusion that it’s either God bringing it to them whenever they’re having a difficult time or it’s the devil bringing it to them. It seems like it’s one extreme or the other. And often, it’s neither. Sometimes it is God bringing something into your life.

But here’s how we know when it’s God bringing something into our lives. James 1:17 says, “Every good and perfect gift comes from the Father and comes from God.” In other words, if it’s not good and perfect, then it didn’t come from God. For example, somebody might think, “well, I lost my job and I lost my money, I lost my family, I lost my life, I lost everything that I have and that was God’s doing to teach me something.” Well, clearly, that’s not God’s doing to teach you something. He instead would rather teach us something to save our family and to save our lives and to save our jobs and the blessing that He’s brought into our life.

Really, He doesn’t come to steal. He comes to give life. John 10:10 says, “the thief, the devil, comes to steal, kill and destroy, but Jesus came to give life and that we would have life in abundance.” So, the way that we know whether something is from God or something is from the devil is by the nature of the thing itself. God doesn’t tempt anybody; He doesn’t bring temptation into our lives to teach us something. James 1:13 says, “He cannot tempt any of us because He Himself is not tempted.” You’ve got to look at it like, “God can only give you what He Himself has.” He doesn’t have sickness. He doesn’t have confusion. He doesn’t have fear. He doesn’t have worry. So, certainly those things aren’t from Him. When they do come into our lives, they did not come from God. So we need to know that and understand that. That’s’ number one.

Number two is “How do we know something is from the devil?” Well, whenever it’s trying to steal something from you, whenever it’s trying to destroy your life, we know that it is from the devil. We know that the devil came to Jesus to tempt Him and the way that Jesus overcame each temptation was He spoke the Word of God. So, speak the Word of God when things come into your life. When trials come into your life, speak the Word of God. And realize that when trials do come, the Bible says to rejoice. Because they test your faith. Whether they came from the devil or they came from bad decisions we made in our lives, they are there to test our faith and what we really believe. And we need to make sure that we’re holding on to God’s Word and that we’re rejoicing and praising God no matter what we see, no matter what we feel, and no matter what we’re going through.

It would be easy if we could just ask God to show us something in the Bible and then open it up and then we just point our finger in to a page whenever we have a problem, but the fact is, is that we have to study. We have to be diligent to study. We have to be diligent to read our Bibles. And here’s the thing. I really encourage you to study this chapter, James chapter 1. You study that chapter because it shows us what to do. Instead of trying to worry about or figure about where the trial came from, the Bible tells us what to do in a trial. It says rejoice. It says, “Count it all joy.”

First of all, you rejoice and you praise God, no matter what. And then, secondly, you ask God for wisdom and He’ll give you wisdom so that you’ll know what to do about the situation. So, I would encourage you to study James chapter 1. It will really enlighten you concerning the things that you’re going through, the trials that you’re facing. No, I wouldn’t try to just play Bible roulette and pray and then point to a scripture and then hope that God will speak to you. But instead, study these chapters, study the Bible because it says, “Study to show yourself approved.” If you want to pass the tests in life, you got to study. If you want to pass tests in school, you got to study and if you want to pass tests in life, you got to study the Word of God and truly understand it. That’s why God gives us the Bible. That’s why He gives us churches, to teach us and to feed us and to help us grow so that we can truly hear from God.