Tests, Trials and Victory by Julie King
Scripture “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” -James 1:2-4 “Consider it nothing but joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you fall into various trials. Be assured that the testing of your faith [through experience] produces endurance [leading to spiritual maturity, and inner peace]. And let endurance have its perfect result and do a thorough work, so that you may be perfect and completely developed [in your faith], lacking in nothing.” -James 1:2-4, AMP “My fellow believers, when it seems as though you are facing nothing but difficulties, see it as an invaluable opportunity to experience the greatest joy that you can! For you know that when your faith is tested it stirs up in you the power of endurance. And then as your endurance grows even stronger, it will release perfection into every part of your being until there is nothing missing and nothing lacking.” -James 1:2-4, TPT
Wonder Jesus is so worthy of praise in the midst of trials. He is worth our praise in suffering. He is worth our adoration when we can’t see anything but the shadow of His countenance. He is so committed to our process and what we are becoming. He won’t let up until we reach eternity, but if we allow Him, He will sanctify us through and through. Wherever you find yourself, mountain-high or valley-low, can you just tell Him right now how worthy He is of your whole life? I love this passage in James because it gives us so much reasoning in our trials. There’s light at the end of our proverbial tunnels. God is producing something in us that we could not know otherwise. It’s deep unto deep and very sacred to Him. He wastes nothing and redeems everything. That doesn’t make the pain less nor the suffering minimized. Instead, it gives us hope that something will be produced in us that far outweighs what our eyes can see. When I climbed Mount Kilimanjaro with a team of 50 women, we were a variety of athletes—all shapes and sizes—from fitness instructors in their 20s to moms in their 60s and everything in between. Just as the fitness level of the team ranged widely, so did life experience. But do you know who had the greatest success in climbing? It was the older women who had so much life experience to pull from. They had learned how to endure and how to draw from the deepest places where they once had to persevere. They were the ones with the grit that went well beyond muscular strength or training. The summit took emotional perseverance of the deepest kind. Such is life. Our completeness begins with the testing of our faith—what and whom do we believe? God builds a foundation of faith before He takes us into the deeper things of perseverance and maturity. If we don’t understand the heart of God as our Abba, Father, we will look at testing through a filter of punishment. He is not out to test us into failure but rather for our victory. He’s not standing with arms folded and His brow furrowed, looking at how we are passing or failing the test. He’s looking at Christ in us who has claimed our victory, forgiveness, and holiness. He sees His Own Son interceding for us, angels warring for us, and the glorious outcome of a faith tested through fire. He tests us to prove to us who He is in us and who He is to us. The fabric of faith is seared into our DNA from these moments, trials, and tests. Trials prove the wonder and power of God at work in us. This is how we move from glory to glory. “I have looked back to times of trial with a kind of longing, not to have them return, but to feel the strength of God as I have felt it then, to feel the power of faith, as I have felt it then, to hang upon God’s powerful arm as I hung upon it then, and to see God at work as I saw him then.” -Charles Spurgeon In the Greek, the word for testing indicates the proving; “That by which something is tried or proved, a test.” Tests that we are permitted to walk through by the grace of God only prove to us that which God longs for us to also realize. It’s not to prove we are worthless and hopeless. Christ in us, the Hope of Glory, lays the foundation of faith to which we climb upon in trials. We fix our eyes on Jesus, our Warrior King who holds victory for His sons and daughters because of His blood shed for us! “You would think that after His brutal torture and death, He would finally find rest. Not this Lion! ... after three days, Christ was raised from the dead. This was the ultimate display of power and authority.” -Michael Koulianos, “The Jesus Book” I want you to read the covenant promise that is written in Jeremiah that undergirds this process from faith to completeness. It’s all His doing and of His character. He is not harsh or distant in our trials. In fact, we are so anchored to Him in covenant bond that you better believe He will go to any and every length, withholding nothing of Himself, to see you to your “well done!” “‘They will be My people, and I will be their God; and I will give them one heart and one way, that they may [reverently] fear Me forever, for their own good and for the good of their children after them. I will make an everlasting covenant with them that I will do them good and not turn away from them; and I will put in their heart a fear and reverential awe of Me, so that they will not turn away from Me. I will rejoice over them to do them good, and I will faithfully plant them in this land with all My heart and with all My soul.’” -Jeremiah 32:38-41, AMP, emphasis added Look at all He does and the one thing we do! Our only part in that covenant is not turning away from Him. That may be the hardest part when the enemy comes in to steal our faith and degrade the character of God in our minds as we face testing. If the enemy can get our faith, he will attempt to reconfigure our foundation. And the process of trust and perseverance is hindered because our very faith is fragile and tenuous. But faith having gone through the fire is proved to you first—He already knows what is in you—and then results in perseverance, hope, endurance, maturity, peace, perfection, and completeness. All these things you begin to see in your life with your very eyes. Oh Lord, let this be so evident in your Bride today! Establish our immovable faith so that we may endure! Beloved, we are walking into a time where the Bride of Christ is going to exude the power of God like we have never seen nor believed for. Miracles like the blind man receiving sight on my extreme trip will become a part of our normal testimonies. Do you have the foundation of faith to believe that God will do this through your life? Or do you need to spend some time asking Him to heal, rebuild, and restore your faith? He is producing in you, right now, a bedrock of immovability to take Him at His word. But you will not have what it takes to minister to those who will be coming home to Him soon if you don’t go through what you are walking through right now. We must have grit for our faith! We must be able to contend for the gospel in the face of persecution. There has to be a foundation of His faithfulness in our past trials, so we will know how to trust Him. Then we can say, “I have seen You here before, and You were faithful then. You will be faithful now.” Beloved, can we take our heels out of the mud in resistance and begin to bless the Lord in our trials? Can we ask Him to accompany our godliness with contentment? Can you raise the decibel of your worship in the storm so that the Kingdom of Heaven and the kingdom of darkness take note? Let’s give Jesus permission to make us ready to endure until the very end. Spiritual moms, you will be raising up spiritual daughters in this end time harvest. You’re going to need to teach and train them what faith, perseverance, and hope looks like in the face of adversity. If you will give Jesus your yes to train you and prepare you, you better count on a tsunami of grace and the sweetness of His presence to follow you all the days of your life. Your great cloud of witnesses is cheering you on right now. Will you thank Him and tell Him He is worthy of it all?
About Julie King: Julie grew up a missionary kid and spent much of her youth in Germany during the fall of the Berlin Wall and the opening of the Iron Curtain. These events were instrumental in forming her worldview and passion for the gospel. Julie's heart for the Bride of Christ compels her to lead women around the world to take the gospel to people who have never heard the name of Jesus. In 2018, Julie began an initiative called Arise through the mission of East-West Ministries International. Through this effort, she is seeing women grow in a depth of hunger and passion for Jesus and His heart for the world. These books are a result of those passions, and she believes t here's more to come!