The Testing of Faith
Daily Bible Reading – 1 Kings 17-19; Colossians 2
Today’s Key Passage – 1 Kings 17:1-24
When was the last time your faith was tested? Has it been awhile, or has it happened recently? One of the certainties of our Christian lives is that at times our faith will be tested. Just as it takes a tremendous amount of pressure to form a diamond, it sometimes takes trials and tests to build our faith. How we react to these tests indicates where our hearts are in relation to God. How we react to these tests shows our true character. When our faith is tested, we can choose to turn and run away from God, or we can choose to keep our focus firmly on Christ and maintain strict obedience to His Word. In today’s key passage, we find a great illustration of the testing of faith in the story of the great prophet Elijah. In a single, relatively short chapter of the Bible, Elijah’s faith was tested four times. Moreover, these are not small tests. The tests Elijah faced in 1 Kings 17 are all big ones. Today we will look at the four tests Elijah faced and how he reacted to each one.
In the first test of his faith, God spoke to Elijah and wanted him to go before the King of Israel and tell him about a drought that was coming. Elijah needed to confront Ahab, the most evil king in Israel’s history at that point, and tell him that because he did not follow God and because he led the Israelites away from God, he was going to face a punishment in the form of a great drought. Imagine how Elijah must have felt walking into that room to confront Ahab. Despite the hostile environment and the unpleasant message he needed to deliver, Elijah did not waiver in his faith. He obeyed God, and delivered the message to Ahab.
In the second test of his faith, God again spoke to Elijah and told him to go into hiding to spare his own life. God told Elijah to hide in the Kerith Ravine, and God promised Elijah that he would find water to drink in the brook, and that the ravens would bring him food to eat each day. Imagine what must have been going through Elijah’s mind when God told him he would be fed by ravens. I do not know about you, but I probably would have asked God to repeat that message to make sure I heard him correctly. Elijah, on the other hand, did not waiver in his faith. He obeyed God, and he went to the Kerith Ravine where he found water in the brook and was fed meat and bread twice a day by ravens.
In the third test of his faith, God told Elijah to go to Zarephath where he would find a widow who would feed him. When he arrived in Zarephath, he found the widow, but soon realized she was almost as poor and destitute as Elijah himself. She was getting ready to prepare one final meal for herself and her son, as she was almost out of flour and oil. Imagine the shock Elijah must have felt when he learned that the widow who was supposed to feed him only had enough flour and oil for one meal. As before, however, Elijah did not waiver in his faith. He obeyed God, and told the widow to make him a small cake of bread with the flour and oil she had left, and miraculously the woman’s jar of flour was never used up and her jug of oil was never dry.
In the final test of his faith (in this chapter anyway), the widow’s son became ill and died. Grieving the loss of her son, the widow blamed Elijah for his death. Imagine how Elijah must have felt being accused of bringing death to this boy. In the midst of these accusations, Elijah did not waiver in his faith. He cried out to the Lord and asked Him to heal the boy, and God returned the widow’s son to life.
As you can see, in each of these four illustrations, Elijah’s faith was tested. Each time, he could have chosen to turn away from God, but each time he did not waiver in his faith. Elijah understood that during the testing and trials that come in our lives, our obedience to God is paramount. The next time your faith is tested, take a lesson from the story of Elijah. No matter what God asks you to do, or how bad the circumstances might be, do not waiver in your faith, and live in obedience to God’s commands.
During your Bible reading today, what “key passages” stood out to you? Leave a comment below to share what God is showing you about His Word today.
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May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you today.