Do You Have Proven Faith? – Part 1

Do You Have Proven Faith? – Part 1

By Greg Sanders

About every other summer, I am privileged to go play golf in California at Pebble Beach. Each year I will pay to have my clubs shipped to California. It usually cost me about $80. People have asked “Greg, couldn’t you just rent some once you’re out there?” Yes I could, but as bad as my game is, it gets even worse when I have to play with clubs that I have not proven or tested. My confidence is gone.

The problem with many peoples’ faith is not the person in which they have placed it. In our case, it’s Jesus. We know He never fails. Our issues with faith begin because we have not proven our faith by leaning on it during trials. Therefore we never develop real confidence in our faith. The reason we must have proven faith is because what has been proven is what you lean on most during trials. What we are most familiar with becomes our default during trials.

As believers, our default should be to trust God. God tests us to develop our trust in Him

Hebrews 11:17 By faith Abraham, when God tested him, offered Isaac as a sacrifice. He who had embraced the promises was about to sacrifice his one and only son, 18 even though God had said to him, “It is through Isaac that your offspring will be reckoned.”[a] 19 Abraham reasoned that God could even raise the dead, and so in a manner of speaking he did receive Isaac back from death.

The Bible says that God tested Abraham. 
Now most of us don’t like tests. I did not like them in school and I don’t like them in life. Sometimes they are announced. But when I was in school, many of my teachers did things called a pop test, or an unannounced test. Do you know the reason teachers tested us? It was an act of proving what we had committed to our mind. They were trying to get out of us what they put into us.

The reason the Lord tests us is to get out of us what He put into us.

How can I develop proven faith?

Today’s Lesson: Embrace testing.

Genesis 22:1 Some time later God tested Abraham. He said to him, “Abraham!” “Here I am,” he replied. 2 Then God said, “Take your son, your only son, whom you love— Isaac—and go to the region of Moriah. Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on a mountain I will show you.”

True faith will always be tested.

James 1:2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters,[a] whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. 4 Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. 12 Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.

Testing produces maturity in our lives. Testing delivers the needed things and the missing parts to our lives. Testing develops us so that there will be nothing lacking in our lives according to James 1:4.

Embracing the testing of God produces the needed change in our lives.

Now I have noticed something that is really weird to me. Some people abandon their faith during testing. Some people disappear when a test come. They abandon the church, they abandon their faith, and they just disappear. Months or years later, when the storm is over, they start talking about their faith again. What is up with that?? Here is the deal. What they are doing is expressing where their faith really lies. It lies in themselves, so they lean into that. It lies in their wealth, so they lean into work. Their faith lies in other things. What you lean on in the hard times proves where your faith really lies.

The reason God tested Abraham with Isaac was He wanted Abraham to prove himself to Him and God also wanted to prove Himself to Abraham. The promise of the future was not based in his faith in Isaac; it was based on His faith in God.

God tests us at times to prove to us that He is our Source.

Remember, Satan tempts us to bring out the worst in us. God tests us to bring out the best. Our faith is the foundation of our lives, not just a decoration to our lives. How many of you know what a decoration is? It’s a glorified trinket…it’s additional.

God does not desire to be a decoration…He does not want us to dress our lives up in His words, His good deeds only…..He wants to be the foundation of our lives. For Him to move from being a decoration to foundation, we must have a proven faith that only comes from embracing the testing He sends us and allowing Him to prove Himself to us.

About Greg Sanders

I am married to the greatest girl in the world. Megan Sanders,(pronouced Meegan) Currently serve as pastor at The Assembly in Cabot Arkansas.
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