Tests of Faith

LifeLink Devotional

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Psalms 119:137 – 144 (NIV) Righteous are you, O LORD, and your laws are right. The statutes you have laid down are righteous; they are fully trustworthy. My zeal wears me out, for my enemies ignore your words. Your promises have been thoroughly tested, and your servant loves them. Though I am lowly and despised, I do not forget your precepts. Your righteousness is everlasting and your law is true. Trouble and distress have come upon me, but your commands are my delight. Your statutes are forever right; give me understanding that I may live.

WARNING! The following is not intended for children. Do not try this at home. We are professionals. I bet that got your attention.

Several years ago I was invited to go on a fishing trip with my oldest son and some of his friends. We travelled about four hours to the Peshtigo River, a world-renowned trout river in northeastern Wisconsin. After setting up camp and spending a little time on the river, it was time to build the campfire and eat supper.

After supper, as we sat around the fire, the boys talked about doing a scientific experiment. They had been talking about the explosive nature of gasoline. We knew the scientific fact that gas as a liquid does not burn unless it is vaporized first. They wanted to test that theory.

Here’s what they did. They took a glass bottle with a cap and punctured a tiny hole in the cap. White gas was placed in the bottle and the cap was firmly replaced so that it sealed.  The bottle was then placed upright in the middle of the fire. During the first attempt, we all backed away from the fire. Soon we could see bubbles in the gas. Then a small stream of steam began shooting from the bottle cap as the gasoline vaporized in the heat. As the flames of the fire lapped their way up the side of the bottle, the vapor ignited, creating a blow torch that shot fire fifteen feet in the air or better. That continued until all the gas in the bottle was vaporized. The bottle never did explode.

Needless to say we were all thrilled with the success of this experiment, so it was repeated several times. We experimented with different size holes in the cap, and at one point even put more than one hole in the cap to produce different torch effects. Only once did the experiment fail, and that was when the bottle cap blew off prematurely sending a ball of flame forty feet in the air. We screamed with delight like little boys.

I’m sure you could tell stories like that one, too. We have all tested the laws of nature and science in one way or another. In fact, just the other night I watched from my office window as a young man tested the spin rate of his car on ice by using his emergency brake. It was a very nice move, Matt.

It is our human nature to test the laws and rules. We started out doing it as children. Mom told us it was hot, but we had to touch it to see for ourselves. Dad told us it was sharp, but we had to test it. Learning by experience is how we come to a thorough understanding of truth and reality.

The Bible says God is righteous, and therefore His laws are also righteous and trustworthy. Go ahead – test them. Since the beginning of time His promises have been thoroughly tested and they have never failed. Not once has the cap been blown off prematurely.

Go ahead – test them. The result of every test will be a deeper love for God and a deeper dependence on His Word.

What are you afraid of? Sure, you’ll probably back up from the fire when you test the first one for fear of the unknown. But true faith requires risk. Go ahead – start the test.

  • Speak up for Jesus in a public place and test the promise that the Holy Spirit has prepared someone to hear the truth and respond.
  • Give more money than you’ve ever given before and test the promise that God will provide your every need.
  • Forgive those who have hurt you and test the promise that God will cleanse your soul from all your pain by forgiving you the same way.
  • Walk in the Spirit of God and test the promise that He will strengthen you to resist every temptation of the flesh.
  • Surrender every worry and care to God and test the promise that He will overwhelm you with indescribable peace.

Soon you’ll be living a greater adventure than you ever dreamed possible. You will sit in awe as the flame of the Holy Spirit shoots into the darkness of your night and thrills you. God’s promises cannot fail.

Pastor John

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