All posts tagged: Testing

Fog in Tronheim, Norway Credit: Ksenia Novikova/Flickr/Creative Commons

Why does God test us?

One re-occurring theme in the Bible is that from time to time God tests believers.  Tests have some similarity with trials, but differ in one important respect. Tests are initiated by God, while trials are not. Trials are simply blatant attacks against Christians. But as we will see in the life of Peter, some tests can have a demonic origin. So why does God test us? Paul writes: 4 On the contrary, we speak as those approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel. We are not trying to please people but God, who tests our hearts. (1 Thessalonians 2:4 NIV) There are three key words in this verse: approved, entrusted and tests and they are all connected.  God wants to entrust us with more responsibility, but He needs to know how we are going to respond. So God tests our hearts, often through difficult situations, to see how we respond. Are we going to give up? Are we going to back away when the going gets tough? A life of faith is a struggle. …

Bethany Hamilton surfing off the coast of Santiago, Galicia, Spain. Photo Commons

God will fulfill His purpose for your life

Despite our setbacks, mistakes, accidents, failures, sins and fears, God fully intends on accomplishing His purposes for our lives. That was the first thing I thought of when I read the powerful testimony of Bethany Hamilton. You may remember her story, Bethany was thirteen years old when a shark attacked her while she surfed in Hawaii in 2003. Though the shark cut off her arm, incredibly Bethany survived. Three weeks later, she conquered her fears and was back surfing. Her strong faith in God helped her through the ordeal and her story would spread around the world because of it. Since then a feature film, Soul Surfer, has been made on Bethany’s triumphal return to surfing. She is now married to Adam Dirks and they have a one year old son. Aside from winning several surfing competitions, she and Adam also placed third during the 2014 filming of The Amazing Race. The World Surf League announced that on May 30, 2016, Bethany, 26, finished third in the World Surf’s League Fiji Women’s Pro. She wasn’t …

Purified faith. Photo: Molten gold Domiriel/Flickr

Peter’s word for today — testing of faith and garrisoning our salvation

According to ancient tradition, the Roman Emperor Nero crucified the Apostle Peter because of his faith in Christ. However, believing he was unworthy to be crucified in the same fashion as Jesus, Peter requested crucifixion upside down which the Romans did. By the time Nero became emperor in 64 AD, Christians were considered social outcasts in Roman society. The Roman emperors were considered gods and it was a person’s civic duty to make sacrifices to them. Christians could avoid martyrdom by simply making an offering to the Roman emperor. Later, the Romans required Christians to show certificates that they had made a sacrifice to the emperor, witnessed by others. If they refused it usually meant torture and death often by crucifixion or fire. After the Romans finished constructing the Colosseum in 80 AD, along with commons crooks and slaves, Christians were thrown in the arena before massive crowds to be ripped apart by lions or other wild beasts. One of the contraptions the Romans used to entertain the tens of thousands sitting in the seats …

Let your trials create stress-wood faith

[by Dean Smith] Biosphere 2, located in Oracle, Arizona, is a 3.14 acre (1.3 hectare) controlled environment that researchers have used for various projects. The giant enclosed glass dome, constructed between 1987 to 1991, contains a variety of environments including rain forest, savannah, desert and even oceans. For decades, it has been used for agricultural research and even for planning how domed environments could function on other planets. As these different environments were created, the researchers made an interesting discovery. When they planted various types of trees, they found in this perfect environment the trees grew much quicker than they did in the wild. However, before the trees reached their full size, many toppled over or began to lean.

Did a snake charmer test God and lose?

It’s a sad story. Pastor Jamie Coots who gained notoriety as a church snake handler on National Geographic’s reality show Snake Salvation died Saturday February 15, 2014 after being bitten by a snake in a church service. Coots practiced snake handling as part of the worship service at Full Gospel Tabernacle in Jesus Name based in Middlesboro, Kentucky. He along with Tennessee Pastor Andrew Hamblin were featured on the TV show. According to reports, the Middlesboro police received a call of someone being bitten by a snake at a church service on Saturday night.