HomeOpinion & AnalysisHandling the test of faith

Handling the test of faith

When I was still a young boy, about seven or eight years old, I fell off my brother’s bicycle (which I had taken without permission) and fractured my arm by the elbow joint. I was hospitalised for a few weeks, and afterwards, spent about a month with my hand in a cast (plaster).

divineinsight BY PHILLIP CHIDAVAENZI

That time passed without incident up until the cast was removed. Trouble knocked on my door when I started going for physiotherapy sessions. My arm, which had become used to the cast folded by the joint, had to be stretched back into position. Oh boy, the pain of it! I started dreading every morning I had to go for those sessions because the pain was just unbearable!

Eventually, I got used to it and my arm’s joint, which had become stiff, slowly started loosening until it became normal again.

Why am I sharing this story? It best exemplifies how faith works. Sometimes we get so comfortable in certain spaces so we never get the opportunity to exercise our faith.

Hebrews 11:17-19 (KJV): “By faith Abraham, when he was tried, offered up Isaac: and he that had received the promises offered up his only begotten son, [18]Of whom it was said, That in Isaac shall thy seed be called: [19]Accounting that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead; from whence also he received him in a figure.”

Just like we see with Abraham, your faith can only be demonstrated if it is put to the test, often through painful and unbearable experiences, just like I went through during those physiotherapy sessions. Imagine Abraham, after having waited so many years (probably with prayer and fasting in the mix) to have that baby and as you watch that joy of your life blossoming, then God shows up and says, hey, if you really love me, put that baby under the knife! This is exactly the situation Abraham found himself in.

I can imagine Abraham sitting there, wondering if he had really heard God properly. But this was a man who had walked with God for so long he could never have mistaken the Creator’s voice.

Then he got up, took his young man and two servants and headed for Mount Moriah for the sacrifice! But little lsaac was not foolish. He looked up at Abraham and says, “Hey Pa, you say we are going to offer a sacrifice to God, but where is the animal?” (I often wonder if little Isaac knew he was the “animal” what was he going do?)

But Abraham’s response was mind-blowing. Genesis 22:8 (KJV): “And Abraham said, My son, God will provide himself a lamb for a burnt offering: so they went both of them together.”

This was the voice of faith speaking! When those tests come in your life, do you respond with the voice of faith or the voice of fear? When the mettle of your character or personality is never tested by the storms of life, then your faith will never be stretched enough to grow.

If my arm was not stretched beyond what I could endure during those physiotherapy sessions, then my left arm would have remained crippled for life. Some of you here feel like God has turned his back on you and you are walking like cripples in life, nothing happening, simply because you have never allowed God to stretch your faith.

Remember, while temptations come from the devil, tests come from the Lord of heaven himself. Temptations are engineered for your destruction. But tests are crafted for your spiritual growth.

When you hold on to the Word of God spoken over your life, or which has exploded in your spirit as rhema during study and meditation, it will act as your anchor and tests will not scare you off. Abraham believed what God had told him: “In Isaac shall thy seed be.”

This word was enough to give him confidence that Isaac wouldn’t die before he had children and grandchildren. The tests would only serve to build his faith. May this be your testimony today! Amen.

Phillip Chidavaenzi is the author of several books including Walking in the Spirit (2017) and Give Me Souls, Or I Die! (2018). He can be contacted on pchidavaenzi@newsday.co.zw

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