The Review and Herald

1740/1902

March 7, 1912

The Trial of Your Faith

EGW

Not without a purpose does God send trial to his children. He never leads them otherwise than they would choose to be led if they could see the end from the beginning, and discern the glory of the purpose which they are fulfilling, as workers together with him. He subjects them to discipline to humble them, to lead them, through trial and affliction, to see their weakness and draw near to him. As they cry to him for help, he responds, saying, “Here am I.” He is not regardless of the entreaties of his children. He bears long with their impenitence, and when they turn to him, he receives them graciously. RH March 7, 1912, par. 1

Of the trial of faith Peter writes: “Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: but rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ's sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy.” And James says, “Count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.” RH March 7, 1912, par. 2

Christians are Christ's jewels. They are to shine brightly for him, shedding forth the light of his loveliness. Their luster depends on the polishing they receive. They may choose to be polished or to remain unpolished. But every one who is pronounced worthy of a place in the Lord's temple must submit to the polishing process. Without the polishing that the Lord gives, they can reflect no more light than a common pebble. RH March 7, 1912, par. 3

Christ says to man, You are mine. I have bought you. You are now only a rough stone; but if you will place yourself in my hands, I will polish you, and the luster with which you shall shine will bring honor to my name. No man shall pluck you out of my hand. I will make you my peculiar treasure. On my coronation day, you will be a jewel in my crown of rejoicing. RH March 7, 1912, par. 4

The Divine Worker spends little time on worthless material. Only the precious jewels does he polish after the similitude of a palace, cutting away all rough edges. This process is severe and trying; it hurts human pride. Christ cuts deep into the experience that man in his self-sufficiency has regarded as complete, and takes away self-uplifting from the character. He cuts away the surplus surface, and putting the stone to the polishing-wheel, presses it close that all roughness may be worn away. Then, holding the jewel up to the light, the Master sees in it a reflection of himself, and he pronounces it worthy of a place in his casket. RH March 7, 1912, par. 5

Blessed be the experience, however severe, that gives new value to the stone, causing it to shine with living brightness. RH March 7, 1912, par. 6

Christianity promises no exemption from sorrow. “We must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God.” Faith is needed, strong, trusting faith, which believes that God will bring his children into no temptation greater than they are able to bear. What such faith has power to do is told by Paul in his letter to the Hebrews. Speaking of those who, in the face of persecution and death, had maintained an unshaken trust in God, he says: RH March 7, 1912, par. 7

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“Who through faith subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, waxed valiant in fight, turned to flight the armies of the aliens. Women received their dead raised to life again: and others were tortured, not accepting deliverance; that they might obtain a better resurrection: and others had trial of cruel mockings and scourgings, yea, moreover of bonds and imprisonment: they were stoned, they were sawn asunder, were tempted, were slain with the sword: they wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins; being destitute, afflicted, tormented.” RH March 7, 1912, par. 8

In this world these heroes of faith were counted unworthy of life; but in heaven they are enrolled as sons of God, worthy of the highest honor. “They shall walk with me in white,” Christ declares; “for they are worthy.” In the courts of heaven there awaits them an “eternal weight of glory.” RH March 7, 1912, par. 9

“Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith.” “Our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.” RH March 7, 1912, par. 10

When the redeemed stand in the presence of God, they will see how short-sighted were their conclusions as to what Heaven records as success. They will see how petty were their supposed trials, and how unreasonable were their doubts. They will see how often they brought failure to their work by failing to show unquestioning faith in God. From the lips of the angelic choir and the redeemed host will peal forth the chorus: “Great and marvelous are thy works, Lord God Almighty; just and true are thy ways, thou King of saints. Who shall not fear thee, O Lord, and glorify thy name? for thou only art holy.” RH March 7, 1912, par. 11