A Test of Faith

The wife of a man from the company of the prophets cried out to Elisha, “Your servant my husband is dead, and you know that he revered the LORD. But now his creditor is coming to take my two boys as his slaves.” Elisha replied to her, “How can I help you? Tell me, what do you have in your house?” “Your servant has nothing there at all,” she said, “except a little oil.” Elisha said, “Go around and ask all your neighbors for empty jars. Don’t ask for just a few. –2 Kings 4:1-3(NIV)

Have you ever felt hopeless? Overwhelmed by the pressures of daily life and all of its circumstances? Well, the woman in these verses had all but given up hope. Her husband had died, and left her with a ton of debt. She had no income. Creditors were threatening to take her sons as payment for her bills. In a moment of despair and helplessness, she cried out to the prophet Elisha.

There are times when the faithful will fall into financial difficulty, among other things. It does not necessarily mean anyone has been unfaithful or does not have faith. There are times when the difficulty comes as a test of faith. As the hopelessness overwhelmed her, this widow asked the prophet of God, Elisha, what to do. Elisha asked her what she had left.

Sometimes we only have a little for God to work with, but He can do a lot with a little. If we are willing to demonstrate our faith by putting that little bit into His hands, He multiplies it. Do you remember the fish and loaves and the widow who fed Elijah? What do you have? Whether we have a little or plenty, are you willing to put it in God’s hands?

Elisha told her to borrow as many jars as she could from her neighbors. And thus, she did. She poured the little oil she had left into one jar and it kept coming out of that jar. It continued to flow until every last jar she had on hand was full. What a way to pass a test of faith!

When you expect God to move, prepare in a big way. The oil the widow collected was sold to pay their debts with enough left over to sustain them. Sometimes, the solution will come in a most unexpected way. All God asks is that we trust Him. How you handle the difficulties you face can indicate whether or not you really truly trust in God.

Remember this:  Though the righteous fall into difficulty, God will provide when they place their trust in Him.



We can give God joy

“Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him, endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” (Hebrews 12:2 NIV)

Jesus knew the purpose for his life on earth. One of the key ideas about Easter is the fact that his death, burial, and resurrection is the whole reason he came to earth. The purpose of Christ’s life was to offer himself as a sacrifice for the sins of mankind. The Bible says that Jesus became sin for us so that we could be forgiven and found righteous in God’s sight (2 Corinthians 5:21). Jesus endured the cross with that purpose in mind. Jesus was so certain of his purpose that he predicted when and how he would die (Matthew 26:2). Jesus looked beyond the suffering, shame, punishment, and death. Christ knew the joy that was yet to come, so he focused on the future.

What, then, is our purpose? Some would answer that our purpose is to love God, and to serve God. Others might say that our chief purpose is to glorify God and enjoy him forever. These descriptions are true. But let me also suggest that our purpose is to bring God joy!

The Bible says that there is great joy in heaven whenever a sinner repents (Luke 15:10). Likewise, the Lord rewards good works and there is joy in hearing him say, “Well done good and faithful servant.” This means Jesus anticipated the joy that would take place when each person would repent and be saved. He also looked forward to the joy that would result from each good work done by believers in obedience to God and motivated by love.

The Bible says that we love God because he first loved us (1 John 4:19). Ephesians 2:1-10 tells us that by nature we are rebellious towards God and are born spiritually dead. It is by his love and grace that he brings us to faith and reconciliation. God has even planned our good works (Ephesians 2:10).

As Easter approaches, think of this amazing thought: Our Father rejoices and experiences joy as we respond to him in repentance, love, and good works that brings him glory. We can give God joy! Remember that aspect of your purpose. God is looking forward to it.



The Power of the Holy Spirit

For though He was crucified in weakness, yet He lives by the power of God. For we also are weak in Him, but we shall live with Him by the power of God toward you. —2 Corinthians 13:4

Spiritual power is the divine energy God is willing to express in and through us and the divine authority needed to carry out the work God has called us to do victoriously.

We cannot “harness” the power of the Holy Spirit. This power is not just for preachers, evangelists, or people who work in special ministry; rather, it is available to every believer who willingly surrenders moment by moment in submission and obedience to the Holy Spirit.


Do Not Lean on Your Own Understanding

Read part 1 first, Trust In The Lord.

Proverbs 3:5-6
Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.
In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.


Don’t Lean on Your Understanding

The verse involves a positive–something you must do. But it also involves a negative–something you must not do. Don’t lean on your own understanding. Basically, the verse is telling us that we ought not to be self-reliant. We cannot pursue a course of action, a financial decision, a business move, a relationship, or an educational choice, simply based on our own understanding. It must be founded in our trust in God.

Self-reliance is such a deceptive trap. We begin to pride ourselves in something–our savvy, our looks, our intellect, our spirituality, our family, whatever. And when we do, it takes away our trust in the Lord. It has become trust in self. The result is a dangerous compromise that will lead to destruction.


Trust in The Lord


It’s simple. It’s short. Yet it’s incredibly powerful. Proverbs 3:5-6 is one of the most familiar passages in the Bible–with good reason. It sets forth a life-changing truth that is worthy of our attention. Spend three minutes reading this article, and see if you agree.

Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.
In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.

Trust in the Lord.

It starts with trust. Any real relationship has to start with some level of trust. It’s the only way a friendship will endure. It’s the only way a marriage will work out. It’s the simple reason why an employer hires workers, or why the workers stay employed. It’s all about trust. Trust in the Lord, however, takes on an entirely new dimension. This is our trust in an eternal, all-powerful, all-wise, all-loving God. He is worthy of our trust. The trust is important, not just because of who God is, but because of the way in which we must trust him: with all your heart. It involves every fiber of your being. That’s the kind of trust we can have in God–a complete, unshakable, deep, abiding trust.


Read part 2, Don’t Lean On Your Understanding