Suffering is Your Opportunity to Show Your Quality (Part 4)

The Unseen Wager

“But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” Heb. 11:6.

Faith is believing what is not seen, for once it is seen it is no longer faith but reality. So how do we believe in God when we do not see Him? By faith.

Among other profound and sorely needed lessons, the book of Job presents a vivid and colorful picture of faith. Job believed someOne who he did not see. Job believed God. How can someone see God who is unseen? They see Him in us, through a manifestation of a son of God – through the works of faith.

“Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.” James 2:18.

“Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” Matt. 5:16

And what are these “good works” that our heavenly Father wants others to see? “Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.” John 6:29.

The crisis of faith is a crisis of belief, and trust and dependence. What you believe is most often expressed in your ability to produce works in keeping with faith. As James says, to say I have faith is of no value if you do not present works (actions) in keeping with them. Very often faith is proven in a trial where you must deny yourself – that takes faith.

Remember Jesus was led by the Spirit into the Wilderness to be tested. Tested in what way? To see if His faith was all talk, to see if he produced works in keeping with righteousness. Each test was aimed directly at his potential to trust Himself and act for Himself, against His Father’s revealed Word.

First He was tempted to feed Himself, to meet His own needs by His own efforts. Second He was shown all the kingdoms of the world and tempted to have power to provide for Himself rather than trust in His Father. Thirdly he took Him to a high place and challenged Him to throw Himself down in an effort to force his Father’s hand and test Him.

The way through was to have faith in His Father, His Word and His Will. Job too was found in a high place and tempted, different place, same type of temptation. Will you trust God even though you cannot see, hear or understand the purpose in your current suffering? Or will you trust your own ability to reason and decide for yourself forsaking Him and His Word, acting independently? “Hath God said….?”

Job was set up. I can’t say whether this was a random choice of a son of God or this is an example that every son of God will be led into a place of temptation by the devil to test him. “Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.” 2 Tim 3:18. It does seem to me that the only way to prove the mettle of the man or woman is in the fire. In a place that no one would stay by their own choice or volition. They would have to determine through faith, “Not my will (getting out of this fire), but Thy will (waiting on the Lord) be done.

Job was a pawn on the battlefield between forces beyond his skill and knowledge. These Titans (not to put the devil in the same class as God but only much mightier than Job) have influence beyond Job’s sight. His piece was moved into the Valley of the Shadow of Death, for real, by the sleight of hand of his most dreaded adversary and with the permission of his Loving Father. Game on.

The reason Job became the subject of the devil‘s attention is because he was the subject of God’s attention, affection and favor. God brought the subject up as a proud Father and drew focus to him. He likes to shine the light on those who best reflect His work and purpose in the earth. God is not ashamed to righteously boast about those with whom He is well pleased, in fact He is always scouring the earth to search them out.

“For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to shew himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward him.” 2 Chron. 16:9.

So the question we need to thoughtfully ask ourselves, Is God up in heaven drawing attention to me? Is He well-pleased with me? Is my name known and respected in heaven? It should be. For, “as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God.” John 1:12. There is absolutely no reason these things should not be true about you. God has, “According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue.” 1 Peter 1:3.

You are to: “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” 2 Tim. 2:15.

Trust me on this. There is no excuse for not coming into the fullness of Christ. It is God’s purpose in coming, to redeem you to the state of a son of God. He has made it possible and made everything available to you through faith.

Fair warning though, the tests will come.

Suffering is your opportunity to show your quality.