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Testing and Perseverance

Testing and Perseverance

Words of Faith 4-1-2020

Dr. Jeffrey D. Hoy © 2020

Jeff.Hoy@faithfellowshipweb.com

Faith Fellowship Church - Melbourne, FL

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James 1:3

             ...because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.

 

      Do you remember the story of Biosphere 2?  In the early 1990s, several scientists sequestered themselves in a self-sustaining environment for two years.  They studied many mini-environments, including an ocean, a desert, and a rain forest and the various weather conditions.  The only thing they could not study was the wind.

      The surprising effect was that in the windless environment of the sequestered sphere, the acacia trees bent over and snapped.  It seems that without the pressure of the wind to strengthen the wood, the trunks became weak and could not hold up their own weight.

         James suggests that the same thing is true with our faith.  It is the pressure of the wind that strengthens our faith and develops spiritual perseverance.  There are many examples we could think of.  When we go to a gymnasium, we do resistance training with weights or other machines.  It is common to lift a weight to the edge of failure to gain muscle strength. Athletes often run sprints to the point of exhaustion to gain aerobic strength.

        The reality is that the only way to strengthen a muscle and bone is to stress it and then allow it to recover with proper nourishment.  It is only under stress that we find strength and endurance. It is the same in the training of our spirit. 

      Have you ever watched the tempering of steel?  Okay, I haven't either.  But I understand that it is a process by which the steel is heated and then cooled over and over again.   The steel is fired red hot and then plunged into oil.  The result is an amazingly hard surface and edge.  The truth is that our faith only becomes strong when it is tempered and tested. 

     This is why God allows us to be heated, never to the point of melting, but then we are plunged into the cooling oil of His love and Holy Spirit.  As we are heated and then anointed, we slowly gain the powerful faith that will be needed as we serve Him.

       I don't know about you, but I have sometimes prayed: "Lord, whatever it is You are trying to teach me, show me quick! Whatever tempering is needed, could we get done with it!"  But there are no shortcuts.  There are no "faith pills" to pop.   Sometimes the trials seem to go on for a while but with each heating and each anointing we are formed more and more into the likeness of Christ with a faith that will stand.

 

      Lord, strengthen me with the winds of Your Spirit so that I will not snap.  Temper me with the heat of living for You and the anointing oil of Your Spirit.  Test the mettle of my faith that I may be strengthened for every task You have for me.  In Jesus' name. 

 

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The Words of Faith devotion is published five days a week by E-mail, and our website, and our church app, excluding Federal holidays. Please feel free to forward this devotion to a friend who might be blessed by this devotion. Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture is quoted from the New International Version (R) of The Holy Bible. Copyright (c) 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House. All rights reserved. Words of Faith (c) 1997, 2010 Jeffrey D. Hoy. All rights reserved. Permission is granted to forward this copyrighted material or use portions of it with appropriate notation of the source for non-profit purposes.  

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