Trials are essentially a test. Clinical trials test new medications to determine their safety and effectiveness. Civil and criminal trials test evidence to determine guilt or innocence. Students are tested to quantify the effectiveness of their education. Mankind is constantly tested. The same holds true in spiritual matters.

The Israelites were tested. “Did any people ever hear the voice of God speaking out of the midst of the fire, as you have heard, and live? “Or did God ever try to go and take for Himself a nation from the midst of another nation, by trials, by signs, by wonders, by war, by a mighty hand and an outstretched arm, and by great terrors, according to all that the LORD your God did for you in Egypt before your eyes? “To you it was shown, that you might know that the LORD Himself is God; there is none other besides Him.” (Deuteronomy 4:33-35 NKJV)

Jesus was tested. Jesus noted his disciples’ loyalty during His trials on earth.  “But you are those who have continued with Me in My trials. “And I bestow upon you a kingdom, just as My Father bestowed one upon Me,” (Luke 22:28-29 NKJV) “Who, in the days of His flesh, when He had offered up prayers and supplications, with vehement cries and tears to Him who was able to save Him from death, and was heard because of His godly fear, though He was a Son, yet He learned obedience by the things which He suffered.” (Hebrews 5:7-8 NKJV)

The churches of Macedonia were tested. “Moreover, brethren, we make known to you the grace of God bestowed on the churches of Macedonia: that in a great trial of affliction the abundance of their joy and their deep poverty abounded in the riches of their liberality.” (2 Corinthians 8:1-2 NKJV)

Paul was tested. “From Miletus he sent to Ephesus and called for the elders of the church. And when they had come to him, he said to them: “You know, from the first day that I came to Asia, in what manner I always lived among you, “serving the Lord with all humility, with many tears and trials which happened to me by the plotting of the Jews;” (Acts 20:17-19 NKJV)

Saints of all ages were tested. Unnamed heroes of faith faced great obstacles. “Still others had trial of mockings and scourgings, yes, and of chains and imprisonment.” (Hebrews 11:36 NKJV) Saints under the gospel are expected to rejoice when facing trials. “My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.” (James 1:2-4 NKJV) Peter puts this into perspective. “In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ, whom having not seen you love. Though now you do not see Him, yet believing, you rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, receiving the end of your faith–the salvation of your souls.” (1 Peter 1:6-9 NKJV) “Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you; but rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ’s sufferings, that when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy.” (1 Peter 4:12-13 NKJV)

Moses was faithful. Jesus was faithful. However, Israel failed the test. Thus, the warning to saints under the gospel in Hebrews chapter three. “Do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion, In the day of trial in the wilderness, Where your fathers tested Me, tried Me, And saw My works forty years. Therefore I was angry with that generation, And said, ‘They always go astray in their heart, And they have not known My ways.’ So I swore in My wrath, ‘They shall not enter My rest.'” (Hebrews 3:8-11 NKJV) We all face trials. Do not think them unusual. Do not grow discouraged. Do not harden your hearts. Rather, take heart and rejoice.

KEN FLEEMAN (5/15/2022)

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