We can trust God fully when He pushes us to the edge of difficulty, because He often tests our faith to see if we will trust or doubt Him. However, God will never tempt us to sin nor should we take steps of faith without prayer and confirmation.
This is a guest post by Beth Harris. She is a wife, mother, Bible study leader and volunteer editor for markalanwilliams.net.
5 years ago, I was pushed to the edge of difficulty as I suffered through depression. It was dark and scary. The worst of it lasted 5 months and was compounded by the fact that I couldn’t sleep more than 1 to 2 hours per night. I had experienced depression years ago and God had helped me then, so I reasoned He could help me again. With stubborn faith, I clung to Him and His Word like never before. I put my trust in Him and as I took steps of faith to recover; He graciously restored me.
I know God didn’t push me into depression, but I believe He allowed it to happen and through the difficulty, He helped me respond to Him with faith and trust. After this painful trial, I experienced many new opportunities to serve Him in various ministries. As difficult as the experience was, I know that God used this time of suffering to produce Spiritual fruit in my life and in the lives of others.
In the Christian life, we will go through many experiences where our faith is challenged and tested.
We may feel like we are at the edge of a precipice and about to fall. But, God allows us to go through trials to see if we will trust or doubt Him; and He wants us to trust Him fully.
Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. (James 1:2-4 NIV)
The testing of our faith produces perseverance which makes us mature and complete.
Sometimes, God asks us to trust Him by taking a step of faith as he did with Moses.
Exodus 3:9-11 says, “And now the cry of the Israelites has reached me, and I have seen the way the Egyptians are oppressing them. So now, go. I am sending you to Pharaoh to bring my people the Israelites out of Egypt. But Moses said to God, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?” (NIV)
It can be scary to trust God and take a step of faith; and we may be reluctant.
Exodus 3:12 says, And God said, “I will be with you. And this will be the sign to you that it is I who have sent you: When you have brought the people out of Egypt, you will worship God on this mountain.”
It may feel as though we are alone, but we can trust God to be with us as we go through difficulty and take steps of faith.
We should be careful not to confuse God’s testing with temptations that we may face. God tests us for our good, but He will never tempt us to sin.
James 1:3-14 says, “When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; but each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed.” (NIV)
We can pray for God’s protection and remember that He will provide a way out of temptation. When you’re tempted, look for the escape route!
No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it. (1 Corinthians 10:13 NIV)
There is usually some level of risk involved with leaving our comfort zone and entering unknown territory. However, in taking steps of faith, we shouldn’t put God to the test as Matthew 4:7 says, “Jesus answered him, “It is also written: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’” (NIV)
Taking steps of faith may require us to leave what is familiar to accept the unfamiliar, and sometimes uncomfortable. In fact, we may experience greater temptation and opposition when we step out in faith. But, faith is necessary to please God as Hebrews 11:6 says, “Without faith it is impossible to please God.” (NIV)
Our decisions to step out in faith should be prayerfully considered and confirmed by the Bible. We can also seek wise counsel from our pastor and other mature Christians.
God will catch us if we stumble and fall as Psalm 40:2 says, “He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand.” (NIV)
He lifts us up when we are stuck in the difficulties of life and puts us on solid ground.
Isaiah 40:31 says, “But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint. (NLT)
The Lord will renew our strength. We can trust Him fully when He stretches our faith by pushing us to the edge of difficulty, because He will catch us if we fall or teach us to fly.
Have you been pushed to the edge of difficulty?
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