Faith, Testing Of
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You greatly rejoice in this, even though you have to suffer various kinds of trials for a little while, so that your genuine faith, which is more valuable than gold that perishes when tested by fire, may result in praise, glory, and honor when Jesus, the Messiah, is revealed.
As for what was sown on the stony ground, this is the person who hears the word and accepts it joyfully at once, but since he doesn't have any root in himself, he lasts for only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes along because of the word, he immediately falls away.
Consider it pure joy, my brothers, when you are involved in various trials, because you know that the testing of your faith produces endurance. But you must let endurance have its full effect, so that you may be mature and complete, lacking nothing.
Not only that, but we also boast in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, endurance produces character, and character produces hope.
Look, I have refined you, but not like silver; I have purified you in the furnace of affliction.
For you, God, tested us, to purify us like fine silver. You have led us into a trap and set burdens on our backs. You caused men to ride over us. You brought us through fire and water, but you led us to abundance.
And I will bring that surviving third through, testing them as if through fire, purifying them like silver, assaying them like gold. They will call on my name, and I will answer them. I will say, "This is my people,' and they will say, "The LORD is my God.'"
But who will survive the day when he comes? Or who can stand when he appears? Because he's like a refiner's fire and a launderer's soap, he will sit refining and purifying silver, purifying the descendants of Levi, refining them like gold and silver. Then they'll bring a righteous offering to the LORD.
For the time has come for judgment to begin with the household of God. And if it begins with us, what will be the outcome for those who refuse to obey the gospel of God?
Sometime later, God tested Abraham. He called out to him, "Abraham!" "Here I am!" he answered. God said, "Please take your son, your unique son whom you love Isaac and go to the land of Moriah. Offer him as a burnt offering there on one of the mountains that I will point out to you."
By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered Isaac he who had received the promises was about to offer his unique son in sacrifice, about whom it had been said, "It is through Isaac that descendants will be named for you." Abraham was certain that God could raise the dead, and figuratively speaking, he did get Isaac back in this way.
Remember how the LORD your God led you all the way these 40 years in the desert, to humble and test you in order to make known what was in your heart, whether or not you would keep his commands. He humbled you, causing you to be hungry, yet he fed you with manna that neither you nor your ancestors had known, in order to teach you that human beings are not to live by food alone instead human beings are to live by every word that proceeds from the mouth of the LORD. "The clothes you wore did not wear out, nor did your feet blister during these 40 years. read more.
Be convinced in your heart that as a father disciplines his son, so the LORD your God disciplines you.
Then Jerubbaal, also known as Gideon, got up early along with all of his soldiers. They encamped near the Harod Spring. The Midian encampment lay in the valley to their north, near the hill of Moreh. The LORD told Gideon, "You have too many soldiers with you for me to drop Midian into their hands, because Israel would become arrogant and say, "It was my own abilities that delivered me.' That's why you're to ask in full view of the soldiers, "Whoever is afraid or is trembling may go back from Mount Gilead and return home." So 22,000 soldiers left and 10,000 remained.read more.
"There are still too many soldiers," the LORD told Gideon. "Bring them down to the water and I'll refine them for you there. Therefore when I say to you, "This one will be going with you,' he'll go with you, but no one may go about whom I tell you, "This one won't be going with you.'" So he brought his soldiers down to the water, and the LORD told Gideon, "You are to cull out everyone who laps up water with his tongue like a dog from everyone who kneels to drink." The contingent of soldiers who lapped water with their hands to their mouths numbered 300 men, but everyone else kneeled to drink water. Then the LORD told Gideon, "I'm going to deliver you with the 300 soldiers who lapped by giving the Midianites into your control. Send everyone else back to their own homes." So the soldiers took provisions with them, along with their trumpets, and Gideon sent all the rest of the soldiers of Israel back to their own tents, but he retained the 300 men. And the Midian encampment was below him in the valley.
Then Jesus left that place and went to the region of Tyre and Sidon. Suddenly, a Canaanite woman from that territory came near and began to shout, "Have mercy on me, Lord, Son of David! My daughter is severely demon-possessed!" But he didn't answer her at all. Then his disciples came up and kept urging him, "Send her away, because she keeps on screaming as she follows us."read more.
But he replied, "I was sent only to the lost sheep of the nation of Israel." Then she came and fell down before him, saying, "Lord, help me!" He replied, "It's not right to take the children's bread and throw it to the puppies." She said, "Yes, Lord. But even the puppies eat the crumbs that fall from their masters' tables." Then Jesus answered her, "Lady, your faith is great! What you want is granted." That very hour her daughter was healed.
Now a certain man was ill, Lazarus from Bethany, the village of Mary and her sister Martha. Mary was the woman who anointed the Lord with perfume and wiped his feet with her hair. Her brother Lazarus was the one who was ill. So the sisters sent word to Jesus and told him, "Lord, the one whom you love is ill."read more.
But when Jesus heard it, he said, "This illness isn't meant to end in death. It's for God's glory, so that the Son of God may be glorified through it." Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. Yet, when he heard that Lazarus was ill, he stayed where he was for two more days.
So Satan left the LORD's presence and struck Job with terrible boils from the sole of his feet to the top of his head.
In fact, when we were with you, we told you ahead of time that we were going to suffer persecution. And as you know, that is what happened. But when I could stand it no longer, I sent Timothy to find out about your faith. I was afraid that the tempter had tempted you in some way, and that our work had been a waste of time.
Don't be afraid of what you are going to suffer. Look! The Devil is going to throw some of you into prison so that you may be tested. For ten days you will undergo suffering. Be faithful until death, and I will give you the victor's crown of life.
strengthening the disciples and encouraging them to continue in the faith. "We must endure many hardships," they said, "to get into the kingdom of God."
Three times I was beaten with a stick, once I was pelted with stones, three times I was shipwrecked, and I drifted on the sea for a day and a night. I have traveled extensively and have been endangered from rivers, robbers, my own people, and gentiles. I've also been in danger in the city, in the open country, at sea, from false brothers, in toil and hardship, through many a sleepless night, through hunger, thirst, many periods of fasting, coldness, and nakedness.
Rab-shakeh told them, "Tell Hezekiah right now, "This is what the great king, the king of Assyria says: ""Why are you so confident? You're saying but they're only empty words "I have enough advice and resources to conduct warfare!' ""Now who are you relying on, that you have rebelled against me? Look, you're trusting on Egypt to lean on like a staff, but it's a crushed reed, and if you lean on it, it will collapse and pierce your hand. Pharaoh, king of Egypt, is just like that to everyone who relies on him!read more.
""Of course, you might tell me, "We rely on the LORD our God!" But isn't it he whose high places and whose altars Hezekiah has demolished, all the while telling Jerusalem, "You're to worship in front of this altar in Jerusalem?"' ""Come now, and make a deal with my master, the king of Assyria, and I'll give you 2,000 horses, if you can furnish them with riders. How can you refuse even one official from the least of my master's servants and rely on Egypt for chariots and horsemen? "Now then, haven't I come up apart from the LORD to attack and destroy this place? The LORD told me, "Go up against this land and destroy it!'"'"
While he was still speaking, some people came from the synagogue leader's home and said, "Your daughter is dead. Why bother the Teacher anymore?" But when Jesus heard what they said, he told the synagogue leader, "Stop being afraid! Just keep on believing."
When you pass through the waters, I'll be with you; and through the rivers, they won't sweep over you. when you walk through fire you won't be scorched, and the flame won't set you ablaze.
No temptation has overtaken you that is unusual for human beings. But God is faithful, and he will not allow you to be tempted beyond your strength. Instead, along with the temptation he will also provide a way out, so that you may be able to endure it.
To keep me from becoming conceited because of the exceptional nature of these revelations, a thorn was given to me and placed in my body. It was Satan's messenger to keep on tormenting me so that I would not become conceited. I pleaded with the Lord three times to take it away from me, but he has told me, "My grace is all you need, because my power is perfected in weakness." Therefore, I will most happily boast about my weaknesses, so that the Messiah's power may rest on me.
After you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who called you by the Messiah Jesus to his eternal glory, will restore you, establish you, strengthen you, and support you.
then the Lord knows how to rescue godly people from their trials and to hold unrighteous people for punishment on the day of judgment,
Dear friends, do not be surprised by the fiery ordeal that is taking place among you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. Instead, because you are participating in the sufferings of the Messiah, keep on rejoicing, so that you may be glad and shout for joy when his glory is revealed.
So then, those who suffer according to God's will should entrust their souls to their faithful Creator and continue to do what is good.
How blessed is the man who endures temptation! When he has passed the test, he will receive the victor's crown of life that God has promised to those who keep on loving him.
As a result, we rejoice about you among God's churches about your endurance and faith through all the persecutions and afflictions you are experiencing.
The two of them went on together and came to the place about which God had spoken. Abraham built an altar there, arranged the wood, tied up his son Isaac, and placed him on the altar on top of the wood. Then he stretched out his hand and grabbed the knife to slaughter his son. Just then, an angel of the LORD called out to him from heaven and said, "Abraham! Abraham!" "Here I am," he answered.read more.
"Don't lay your hand on the youth!" he said. "Don't do anything to him, because I've just demonstrated that you fear God, since you have not withheld your son, your only unique one, from me."
Meanwhile, the attendant to the man of God got up early in the morning and went outside, and there were the elite forces, surrounding the city, accompanied by horses and chariots! So Elisha's attendant cried out to him, "Oh no! Master! What will we do!?" Elisha replied, "Stop being afraid, because there are more with us than with them!" Then Elisha prayed, asking the LORD, "Please make him able to really see!" And so when the LORD enabled the young man to see, he looked, and there was the mountain, filled with horses and fiery chariots surrounding Elisha!
Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego answered King Nebuchadnezzar, "It's not necessary for us to respond in this matter. Your majesty, if it be his will, our God whom we serve can deliver us from the blazing fire furnace, and he will deliver us from you. But if not, rest assured, your majesty, that we won't serve your gods, and we won't worship the golden statue that you have set up."read more.
Out of control with rage, Nebuchadnezzar's facial expression changed toward Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, and he ordered that the furnace be heated seven times hotter than usual. Then he issued orders to his elite guard to bind Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego with ropes and throw them into the blazing fire furnace. So the elite guard tied them up fully clothed, still wearing their robes, tunics, and turbans, and threw them into the blazing fire furnace, because the king's command was so drastic. Since the furnace was blazing hot, its flames killed those who threw Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego into the blazing fire. Bound firmly with ropes, these three men Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego fell into the blazing fire furnace. Astonished, King Nebuchadnezzar stood up in terror, and asked his advisors, "Didn't we throw three men into the fire, bound firmly with ropes?" In reply they told the king, "Yes, your majesty." "Look!" he told them, "I see four men walking untied and unharmed in the middle of the fire, and the appearance of the fourth resembles a divine being." Then Nebuchadnezzar approached the opening of the blazing fire furnace. He shouted out, "Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, servants of the Most High God, come out and come here!" So Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego came out of the fire. The regional authorities, viceroys, governors, and royal advisors gazed at those men and saw that the fire had no effect on their bodies not a hair on their head was singed, their clothes were not burned, and they did not smell of fire.
As they continued to stone Stephen, he kept praying, "Lord Jesus, receive my spirit!" Then he knelt down and cried out with a loud voice, "Lord, don't hold this sin against them!" After he had said this, he died.
But we have this treasure in clay jars to show that its extraordinary power comes from God and not from us. In every way we're troubled but not crushed, frustrated but not in despair, persecuted but not abandoned, struck down but not destroyed.