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 Topic: Long Term Trials
Re: Long Term Trials [message #12236 is a reply to message #12235 ] Sun, 30 April 2017 06:06
william  is currently offline william
Messages: 1188
Registered: January 2006
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Long Trials

I am aware of several people that embrace the faith message that are going through severe long term trials and I have some thoughts on that.



First let me say that I'm glad you posted this because I do think that there's merit in finding out the "why's this taking so long?" if you do find yourself in a long standing trial BUT I don't think a long standing trial is an automatic reason to doubt something is wrong with your 'faith'.

You say:

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Let me say first that faith is designed by God to get us an answer. It is not designed to get us a trial.


I believe I know what you mean here but even so it seems pretty clinical when you say it like this. Mark 11:24 is also clinical if you just take the verse out of the Bible and quote it. Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them. Yes, this is God's Word and yes it is accurate but without the background and context it leaves one completely hung up on the 'faith' or the 'believing' aspect. "Now if I can just convince myself that I 'believe' what I'm praying for is a reality, it will happen." That's not going to work. Why? Because God didn't design 'faith' or 'believing' to get you an answer (see your quote above). To be fair, He didn't design for it to get us a trial either, but that's beside the point!

The 'believing' aspect is not isolated. Faith doesn't stand by itself. It's always believing in someone (in this case God). We can have faith because we KNOW the person who made the promise and because we KNOW Him we know His promise isn't duplicitous.

We can also be sure that if we have enough confidence in Him to be praying for something in the first place we can be sure that He will let us know if there's something that might hinder Him from giving us our desires. In other words we don't have to examine or turn over every rock in our lives to reasonably expect Him to honor His promise, even if what we pray for doesn't show up for weeks, months, years. Why? Because it's not about some isolated 'faith' that we have, it's about the Person we trust in.

Mark 11:24 assumes the disciples knew this. It assumes that they KNEW the God they would be praying to. It assumes that this 'belief' is 'belief' in the Lord God of Israel, the One who had over and over proved Himself as faithful to their nation. They had a ton of past experiences showing them that He kept them, delivered them, watched over and preserved them. All they had to do was to read about this Awesome Personal God in the pages of their Scriptures. (So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. Romans 10:17)

My married daughter last week had been watching some youtube videos where Christians were laying hands on the sick and seeing people instantly healed and seemed momentarily confused because she had been going through a bad case of something for a while so she asks why wasn't her faith working like it seemed to be working for these people? Now she knows how to pray and has known God since she was a young child but in this case she had her eyes squarely on her 'faith' and was doing the whole self-examination thing (like we all do at times... not that we shouldn't know ourselves because if we are doing something that isn't pleasing to God we somehow just know He's not obliged to quickly resolve our issues!)

My wife and I reminded her that she was looking at the situation all wrong (her faith, self-assessment, etc.) and that she should instead focus on her relationship with God (who made the promise in the first place).

I asked her to imagine that she had a flat tire that she couldn't fix and she asked me to come and fix it for her. I told her I would. If she got up the next day and looked out the window and it was still flat would she go out and kick the tire and ask herself if she had done everything just right, or would she start doubting if she had the ability to have faith or was her faith weak, etc.? What if a neighbor asked her about the tire, would she say don't worry about it, my dad is going to fix it? What if it took me a week to get over there, would she go through all of the above again? Or would she just assume that I knew what I was doing... I was aware of her situation and would do what I said?

We are His children and if we have a relationship with Him then we can be assured that He's more than willing to let us know if there's some problem we are not seeing so that we can take corrective measures... we don't have to run around in a frustrated state examining our faith, our lives, or whether or not there are some 'deeper deliverance' issues that we just haven't uncovered yet. No. He's our Father and He's told us that He would fix the darn tire!

Think about the ten lepers. Do you ever wonder what would have happened if someone had stopped them as the were on the way to the priests and asked if they were healed what would they have said? I know that in our circles this would have been a test as to whether or not their confession was up to par (we are healed... doesn't matter what we look like!!) but most likely they would have just stated the truth and said that they were not healed yet but Jesus had told them what to do and they were on their way to obey Him. We get bogged down in the processes, have I confessed this out loud? Have I done this, have I done that? Why is this taking so long? Did my parents have issues I don't know about, etc., etc..

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When there is faith in your heart you know it. Its part of your life and you are aware it is there. That doesn't mean every time you pray you see it or in a trial you're aware of it. But in your life generally you are aware it is there. If its faith you know it. You've seen it operating in some way. Faith is not blind in the sense that you have no awareness of it in your life.


Right, all I'm doing is making sure we aren't confusing some abstract 'faith' for 'faith in God our Father'. If you are walking with God, believing that He will answer isn't hard at all.

Believing that we have been successful in acquiring 'faith' by spending 'enough' time in the Word (Romans 10:17), studying enough, praying enough, and making sure we are 'speaking positively' enough and 'confessing' enough and making sure we've done enough 'deeper deliverance', introspection, ad nauseum... now that's hard!

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Generally speaking if you or someone close to you is in a severe physical trial long term and nothing is happening then something is wrong. I talking here about strokes heart attacks etc.


What is wrong? These are the same thoughts that assault us even when it's not something long-standing. Only we and God know whether or not we have a relationship. If we do then we can cast those cares on Him because He is Faithful. If we don't have a relationship where we can trust Him, we know that. It would be foolish to ask an estranged father to fix our tire just as it would be foolish to expect him to do something based on some words he wrote us in a birthday card when we were five before we became estranged. (No amount of tire-kicking, self-abasement, and positive confessing is going to change that.

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Lets look at HEF's last heart attack. After it happened he was very weak. Even had to be helped into the pulpit. The point though is that he didn't stay that way. It was a very severe trial and took some months to get better but the point was he did get better. That is what is supposed to happen. That is the normal state of affairs. Getting better!


Amen.

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Incidentally I am of the opinion that the heart attack was satanists probably out of Kentucky that did it. I think they threw everything they had at him and he defeated them with his faith. Without going too much detail they used their witchcraft and called something very big up out of the pit and sent it against him. They must have been absolutely astounded when he defeated it with his faith.

If you or someone close to you is in a severe physical trial and nothing is happening then something is wrong. Yes the book of Job is in the bible but that trial came to a man who was very mature and could handle it. I know all about enduring but trials are supposed to come to an end. If there is no end it isn't a trial. The difference between a trial and a problem is a trial has an end.

If that is you or someone close to you then you need to take a serious look. There could be several reasons why healing isn't coming.

The most obvious one is a lack of faith. It takes real genuine faith to get an answer. Its not hard to get. It just takes time. We've all got some but it has to be involved in the situation or an answer is not going to come. It is very easy to confuse zeal for faith. A 5/f minister I know said faith is a choice. That is true but it still only goes so far. It has to be something real in the heart and if you didn't see it in your life prior to the trial then it probably isn't real. Or at least not being used. Meaning an answer isn't going to come.

I have to say again I am talking here about someone who is in a severe long term serious trial and apparently nothing is happening. Like a stroke or heart attack. Its been a long time and they're not getting better.

Another reason why healing isn't coming is because there is something wrong in a life. Sin or an open door.


I think that the 'serious look' should have already happened... I mean it would take a pretty callous (or self-deluded) individual to think that they could be continuing in sin or have open doors to Satan in their lives and be able to pull Mark 11:24 out of context and expect a favorable answer. Do we have a relationship with God or not?

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Another account here from HEF. He had near the end of his life a serious trial with his leg. Lots of rumours about that one. Several things to say here.
First there was a reason for the trial and I'm not going into detail but there was a problem in his life. When he fixed it the leg problem left.


An assumption, but okay...

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I think as he was recovering from that trial he took a serious look at his life. He saw serious trials; 1000's of people hanging onto his coat tails; persecution by the media; the justice system out to get him! I think he just got to the point where had enough and from deep in his heart he cried out to the Lord. The Lord accommodated him and took him home. In other words he wanted to go.


Another assumption...

It would have been nice for him to tell this to someone (like his wife) if it was the case. It would have alleviated a lot of head-scratching and probably would have kept the legacy of his whole life's ministry (Faith being the primary focus) intact.

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I don't know why people think he was some kind of supernatural person or God's prophet that could do no wrong. He was an ordinary guy like all the rest of us. When he fixed the problem his healing came. That is the way it is supposed to be. Faith is to get you an answer not a trial. If you are in a serious long term trial and nothing is happening then something is wrong.

If you or someone close to you is in this kind of trial and your faith is involved then something of some kind needs to be happening. That something may be a strong inward knowing that you are healed. But if that is the case you will be able to function. And at some point your faith will make the answer come. Faith is not just enduring. It is not a blind faith that that never sees any results. If it is faith and its real then in some way you will be seeing results. I'm talking here about a serious long term trial. Not a week long cold.


I'm all for self-examination but make sure it is an examination of your place in the kingdom of God and your relationship to Him and not a vague self-examination that ultimately is based upon your own efforts to achieve some yet-unknown perfection that you seem to be lacking because you haven't figured the whole 'faith' thing out yet.


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So what is the solution?

Seek your Lord. Its not a lack of faith to go to your heavenly father and ask for help. IMHO one of the most underutilized promises is Heb.7/25 I don't claim that one very often as its not really necessary. If it was serious and long term I'd claim the promise and get in front of the Lord.
Get the faith. Its not hard to get. It just takes time. My suggestion is to get some of Hef's old faith tapes. A good one is “Stepping stones to answered prayer” I have listened to that 100's of times. I still listen several times a week. Because it helps me and ministers to me. It simply isn't going to work if there is not faith operating. Don't deceive yourself.
Fast. Isaiah 58/8 notice it says “speedily” that is how things are supposed to work. I put up a whole post recently about fasting.


Faith isn't something that operates or doesn't operate... but rather a relationship you have or you don't. If you have a relationship that is built on trust then you know that the other person will do what they say if they have the power to do it. If I ask my wife for something that is within her power to give me, I don't spend ANY time wondering if I've done everything right (even if I've forgotten about our anniversary!) I just know (which is what faith is all about) she will do it for me. I know her.

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This not meant to discourage anyone. My point is if you don't have what it takes an answer is not going to come. You will just live with a miserable existence. Take a careful realistic look at the situation. Do something about it. If it has been going on for a long time and no answer is forthcoming then something is wrong.


You mentioned the book of Job earlier and acknowledged that yes, it was there for a reason but then seemed to dismiss it.

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If you or someone close to you is in a severe physical trial and nothing is happening then something is wrong. Yes the book of Job is in the bible but that trial came to a man who was very mature and could handle it. I know all about enduring but trials are supposed to come to an end. If there is no end it isn't a trial. The difference between a trial and a problem is a trial has an end.

If that is you or someone close to you then you need to take a serious look. There could be several reasons why healing isn't coming.


Do you know that the main arguments presented by his 'friends' centered on something being "wrong"? This is your argument.

Job was in a long standing trial and all they could say was --something's wrong Job. Job did all of the self-examination stuff even got to the point where he DID PRAY FOR DEATH, worse, he even wished he'd never lived outside the womb!

Yesterday I was reading the book and was taken aback by this line:

[Job 42:7 KJV] 7 And it was [so], that after the LORD had spoken these words unto Job, the LORD said to Eliphaz the Temanite, My wrath is kindled against thee, and against thy two friends: for ye have not spoken of me [the thing that is] right, as my servant Job [hath].

Here you have a time when they didn't have the revelation of God that we have the privilege of looking at everyday and yet God held them (the three friends) accountable for what that had "spoken". In an age when they only surmised what God was like, based upon their own experiences, when they spoke to Job accusing him of being "wrong", they were held guilty of misrepresenting God.

So there was Job sorely lacking in the knowledge of God, having only his "relationship" to that God and his own understanding about God's justness, holding fast his faith by enduring his long-standing trial. Wow.


Blessings,
William


I want to believe!


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