Faith, Testing Of
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In which you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you are in heaviness through manifold trials: That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perishes, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honor and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:
But he that received the seed in stony places, the same is he that hears the word, and immediately with joy receives it; Yet has he not root in himself, but endures for a while: for when tribulation or persecution arises because of the word, immediately he is offended.
My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials; Knowing this, that the trying of your faith works patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that you may be perfect and entire, lacking in nothing.
And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation works patience; And patience, experience; and experience, hope:
Behold, I have refined you, but not with silver; I have tested you in the furnace of affliction.
For you, O God, have proved us: you have tried us, as silver is tried. You brought us into the net; you laid affliction upon our backs. You have caused men to ride over our heads; we went through fire and through water: but you brought us out into a wealthy place.
And I will bring the third part through the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined, and will test them as gold is tested: they shall call on my name, and I will hear them: I will say, They are my people: and they shall say, The LORD is my God.
But who may endure the day of his coming? and who shall stand when he appears? for he is like a refiner's fire, and like fullers' soap: And he shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver: and he shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the LORD an offering in righteousness.
For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begins with us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?
And it came to pass after these things, that God did test Abraham, and said unto him, Abraham: and he said, Behold, here am I. And he said, Take now your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and get you into the land of Moriah; and offer him there for a burnt offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell you of.
By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac: and he that had received the promises offered up his only begotten son. Of whom it was said, That in Isaac shall your descendants be called: Accounting that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead; from which also he received him in a figure.
And you shall remember all the way which the LORD your God led you these forty years in the wilderness, to humble you, and to test you, to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep his commandments, or not. And he humbled you, and allowed you to hunger, and fed you with manna, which you knew not, neither did your fathers know; that he might make you know that man does not live by bread only, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of the LORD does man live. Your clothing grew not old upon you, neither did your foot swell, these forty years.read more.
You shall also consider in your heart, that, as a man chastens his son, so the LORD your God chastens you.
Then Jerubbaal, who is Gideon, and all the people that were with him, rose up early, and encamped beside the well of Harod: so that the host of the Midianites were on the north side of them, by the hill of Moreh, in the valley. And the LORD said unto Gideon, The people that are with you are too many for me to give the Midianites into their hands, lest Israel vaunt themselves against me, saying, my own hand has saved me. Now therefore go to, proclaim in the ears of the people, saying, Whosoever is fearful and afraid, let him return and depart early from mount Gilead. And there returned of the people twenty and two thousand; and there remained ten thousand.read more.
And the LORD said unto Gideon, The people are yet too many; bring them down unto the water, and I will test them for you there: and it shall be, that of whom I say unto you, This one shall go with you, the same shall go with you; and of whomsoever I say unto you, This one shall not go with you, the same shall not go. So he brought down the people unto the water: and the LORD said unto Gideon, Every one that laps the water with his tongue, as a dog laps, him shall you set by himself; likewise every one that bows down upon his knees to drink. And the number of them that lapped, putting their hand to their mouth, were three hundred men: but all the rest of the people bowed down upon their knees to drink water. And the LORD said unto Gideon, By the three hundred men that lapped will I save you, and deliver the Midianites into your hand: and let all the other people go, every man unto his place. So the people took provisions in their hand, and their trumpets: and he sent all the rest of Israel every man unto his tent, and retained those three hundred men: and the host of Midian was beneath him in the valley.
Then Jesus went from there, and departed into the regions of Tyre and Sidon. And, behold, a woman of Canaan came out of the same regions, and cried unto him, saying, Have mercy on me, O Lord, you son of David; my daughter is grievously vexed with a demon. But he answered her not a word. And his disciples came and besought him, saying, Send her away; for she cries after us.read more.
But he answered and said, I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel. Then came she and worshiped him, saying, Lord, help me. But he answered and said, It is not right to take the children's bread, and cast it to dogs. And she said, True, Lord: yet the dogs eat of the crumbs which fall from their masters' table. Then Jesus answered and said unto her, O woman, great is your faith: be it unto you even as you will. And her daughter was made whole from that very hour.
Now a certain man was sick, named Lazarus, of Bethany, the town of Mary and her sister Martha. (It was that Mary who anointed the Lord with ointment, and wiped his feet with her hair, whose brother Lazarus was sick.) Therefore his sisters sent unto him, saying, Lord, behold, he whom you love is sick.read more.
When Jesus heard that, he said, This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God might be glorified thereby. Now Jesus loved Martha, and her sister, and Lazarus. When he had heard therefore that he was sick, he abode two days still in the same place where he was.
So went Satan forth from the presence of the LORD, and struck Job with painful boils from the sole of his foot unto the crown of his head.
For verily, when we were with you, we told you before that we should suffer tribulation; even as it came to pass, and you know. For this cause, when I could no longer forbear, I sent to know your faith, lest by some means the tempter had tempted you, and our labor be in vain.
Fear none of those things which you will suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that you may be tried; and you shall have tribulation ten days: be faithful unto death, and I will give you a crown of life.
Confirming the souls of the disciples, and exhorting them to continue in the faith, and that we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God.
Three times was I beaten with rods, once was I stoned, three times I suffered shipwreck, a night and a day I have been in the deep; In journeys often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils by my own countrymen, in perils by the Gentiles, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren; In weariness and painfulness, in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness.
And Rab-shakeh said unto them, Speak you now to Hezekiah, Thus says the great king, the king of Assyria, What confidence is this in which you trust? You say, (but they are but vain words,) I have counsel and strength for the war. Now on whom do you trust, that you rebel against me? Now, behold, you trust upon the staff of this bruised reed, even upon Egypt, on which if a man lean, it will go into his hand, and pierce it: so is Pharaoh king of Egypt unto all that trust in him.read more.
But if you say unto me, We trust in the LORD our God: is not that he, whose high places and whose altars Hezekiah has taken away, and has said to Judah and Jerusalem, You shall worship before this altar in Jerusalem? Now therefore, I pray you, give pledges to my lord the king of Assyria, and I will deliver you two thousand horses, if you are able on your part to set riders upon them. How then will you turn away the face of one captain of the least of my master's servants, and put your trust on Egypt for chariots and for horsemen? Am I now come up without the LORD against this place to destroy it? The LORD said to me, Go up against this land, and destroy it.
While he yet spoke, there came from the ruler of the synagogue's house certain who said, Your daughter is dead: why trouble you the Teacher any further? As soon as Jesus heard the word that was spoken, he said unto the ruler of the synagogue, Be not afraid, only believe.
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow you: when you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned; neither shall the flame scorch you.
There has no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted above that you are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that you may be able to bear it.
And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure. For this thing I besought the Lord three times, that it might depart from me. And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for you: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather boast in my weaknesses, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
But the God of all grace, who has called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that you have suffered a while, restore, establish, strengthen, settle you.
The Lord knows how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished:
Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to test you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: But rejoice, since you are partakers of Christ's sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, you may be glad also with exceeding joy.
Therefore let them that suffer according to the will of God commit the keeping of their souls to him in well doing, as unto a faithful Creator.
Blessed is the man that endures trial: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord has promised to them that love him.
So that we ourselves boast of you in the churches of God for your patience and faith in all your persecutions and tribulations that you endure:
And they came to the place which God had told him of; and Abraham built an altar there, and laid the wood in order, and bound Isaac his son, and laid him on the altar upon the wood. And Abraham stretched forth his hand, and took the knife to slay his son. And the angel of the LORD called unto him out of heaven, and said, Abraham, Abraham: and he said, Here am I.read more.
And he said, Lay not your hand upon the lad, neither do you anything unto him: for now I know that you fear God, seeing you have not withheld your son, your only son from me.
And when the servant of the man of God was risen early, and gone forth, behold, an army compassed the city both with horses and chariots. And his servant said unto him, Alas, my master! what shall we do? And he answered, Fear not: for they that be with us are more than they that be with them. And Elisha prayed, and said, LORD, I pray you, open his eyes, that he may see. And the LORD opened the eyes of the young man; and he saw: and, behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire round about Elisha.
Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, answered and said to the king, O Nebuchadnezzar, we have no need to answer you in this matter. If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of your hand, O king. But if not, be it known unto you, O king, that we will not serve your gods, nor worship the golden image which you have set up.read more.
Then was Nebuchadnezzar full of fury, and the form of his appearance was changed against Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego: therefore he spoke, and commanded that they should heat the furnace seven times more than it was usually heated. And he commanded the most mighty men that were in his army to bind Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, and to cast them into the burning fiery furnace. Then these men were bound in their coats, their trousers, and their turbans, and their other garments, and were cast into the midst of the burning fiery furnace. Therefore because the king's commandment was urgent, and the furnace exceedingly hot, the flame of the fire slew those men that took up Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. And these three men, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, fell down bound into the midst of the burning fiery furnace. Then Nebuchadnezzar the king was astonished, and rose up in haste, and spoke, and said unto his counselors, Did not we cast three men bound into the midst of the fire? They answered and said unto the king, True, O king. He answered and said, Lo, I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire, and they are not hurt; and the form of the fourth is like a son of the gods. Then Nebuchadnezzar came near to the mouth of the burning fiery furnace, and spoke, and said, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, you servants of the most high God, come forth, and come here. Then Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, came forth out of the midst of the fire. And the satraps, administrators, and governors, and the king's counselors, being gathered together, saw these men, upon whose bodies the fire had no power, nor was a hair of their head singed, neither were their coats affected, nor had the smell of fire come upon them.
And they stoned Stephen, calling upon God, and saying, Lord Jesus, receive my spirit. And he kneeled down, and cried with a loud voice, Lord, lay not this sin to their charge. And when he had said this, he fell asleep.
But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us. We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed;