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"Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience" (James 1:3).

The Word says to count it all joy, or count it a delight, when you fall into different temptations, tests, and trials, "knowing this." So, it is very important that if you are going to function in joy in the midst of a temptation, test, or trial, you must know what the Word is about to say.

If you don't know it, you will not be able to do what the scripture commands.

God would never tell us to do something that we don't have the ability to do. And, knowing God's character from the Word, it must be to our benefit to count it all joy, or He wouldn't tells us to do it.

Where did we get our faith from in the first place? The Bible tells us in Romans 12:3 that God has dealt to every born-again believer the measure of faith. God has done it.
For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.
(Eph. 2:8-9)
What is the gift of God in this scripture? Salvation is a gift of God: grace, which means God's favor, is a gift of God. Faith, saving faith, is a gift of God. It was given to you. Romans 10:17 tells us, "Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God."

Guess what? You had faith for salvation when you heard the Word on salvation.

He says, "the trying of your faith." Why would God have to try your faith to find out what faith will do when it was God's faith in the first place? God knows what His faith will do. He knows His faith will perform. Someone says, "Yes, but you see God has to try your faith to find out whether or not you are going to serve Him. He has to put you in difficult situations to see how you will perform."

Another says: "Yes, but I thought God is all-knowing and that He is present everywhere and is all powerful." If God knows all things, then God already knows how you will react without putting you through a test or trial.

God Already Knows; It's That Other One Who Doesn't
In fact, God knows what you are going to do tomorrow, next week, next month, next year. He knows how you are going to function in any situation. He doesn't have to try you to find out about your faith. God knows what your faith will do and what you're going to do. He doesn't need to do anything to find out anything. He already knows. That's what makes Him God.

I'll tell you who doesn't know what you will do in a certain situation. That is a rascal who is not all-knowing, but who tries to make you think he is. His name is Satan. You see, Satan is not the hotrod that he has commercialized himself to be.

Satan has made the church believe that he's all-powerful, that he's everywhere at the same time, and that he knows everything. Satan is ONE fallen angel. He's only at one place at one time.

The Bible used to call him the anointed cherub that covereth, but he lost that anointing; so he doesn't understand spiritual things any longer. If he understood spiritual things, he would read the back of the Bible, and he would see the revelation knowledge there. He would see that he is going to lose, and he would quit and fall down on God's mercy and say, "I was a fool, God, I worship You. Have mercy on me."

But, he'll never do that. Why? That dummy thinks he'll win. Why is that? I mean, anyone who will fight against God must be dumb. He must be missing a few nuts and bolts. Satan is missing a whole bunch of them. The devil is crazy, absolutely nuts. He doesn't have any sense. He's not all that big stuff that he's tried to sell the church he is.

He doesn't know what you're thinking. The only way he can find out what you are thinking is for you to open your mouth and tell him. That's how he finds out. He can't read your thoughts, but he can shoot thoughts into your mind. He'll put a thought in your mind, and then he'll say, "Oh, you must not be saved; you thought that thought."

And you don't even know it's him. You think it was your thought, and you say, "Oh, my God, I thought that thought. I must not be saved." It wasn't your thought.

The Bible says for us to cast down imaginations and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge and Word of God and bring into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ (2 Cor. 10:5). It tells you that you can cast down that thought. Why? Because it didn't belong to you in the first place.

Let me tell you, when a Christian spends time in the Word, he'll think things that are in line with the Word; and if his mind gets off the Word, immediately his spirit will say, "No, no, no" and he'll cast down those thoughts.

Developing Patience, Not Faith
Did you notice that James 1:3 doesn't say that the trying of your faith worketh faith. It says, "the trying of your faith worketh patience." Someone said, "Yes, but they are about the same thing." No, they are not the same thing. The Word says the trying of you faith worketh patience, not faith.

Many people think that temptations, tests, and trials develop faith. They say, "Well, you know, brother, I went through this temptation, test, or trial and I came out of it stronger." Or, they say, "I learned something in that temptation, test, or trial."

You can learn something in the midst of a temptation, test, or trial if you survive, but that is not the best or only way to learn something.

You can learn by instruction, by letting the Holy Spirit teach you, or by letting the Holy Spirit use the men and women God has place in the body of Christ in the offices of teacher, pastor, evangelist, prophet, and apostle who are anointed by the Holy Spirit to teach the Word. You can learn a lesson without banging your head or going through a temptation, test, or trial.

I hope everything that you've learned wasn't learned through the school of hard knocks. You can learn by instruction. That is why Jesus sent the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit was sent to teach us all things and to bring to our remembrance whatsoever Jesus has said unto us (John 14:26).

He Teaches by Revelation
How does the Holy Spirit teach us? He doesn't teach us by slapping cancer on us and saying, "Well, that will teach you." No, He teaches us by revelation knowledge - by revealing the Word of God to us and by giving us insight into the Word.

He is the anointing. The Word says in 1 John 2:20, "Ye have an unction from the Holy One, and ye know all things." That's the Holy Spirit.

How do you teach your children? The way my son, Andre, found out that fire was hot was not by his daddy taking his little hand, turning the stove on ten, and putting his little hand on the burner until it burned him and then saying, "Now, that will teach you that fire is hot."

You know what they would do with someone who did such a thing in society today? They would say, "Man, you are going to jail for child abuse." And, he ought to go to jail, and the key should be thrown away. Yet, people accuse God of doing things like that to His children.

The Word says in John 1:12, "As many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God." Galatians 4:6 says that we cry unto Him "Abba Father," or daddy. We are children of God, and He is our daddy.

People accuse God of taking their hands and putting them on the hot stove of temptations, tests, or trials until they almost die to teach them something; and then after that, most people still haven't learned the lesson because they go and do the same things again.

Tests and trials don't develop faith. If tests and trials developed faith, then it would stand to reason that the oldest person in the body of Christ would have the greatest faith. That would mean the people who have been in the Lord the longest time would automatically have the strongest faith, and we know that is not true.

There are some people who have been saved for twenty years who couldn't believe God for a quarter. They couldn't believe God for healing, or to win the lost, or to do anything. They are spiritual babies, but they are saved, and they will go to heaven.

God turns around and uses individuals who have only been born again five years, and He makes them some of the strongest faith men in the world because of what they do with their faith. How strong your faith gets depends on what you do, not on how long you live.

You are not immune to temptations, tests, and trials just because you are born again. Jesus said that we would face temptations, tests, and trials in life. He said that tribulation would come, but for us to "…be of good cheer: I have overcome the world" (John 16:33).

And the Word says "… as He is, so are we in this world" (1 John 4:17). So, if He has overcome, then we have overcome. But, you will face temptations, tests, and trials, so take advantage of these opportunities to develop patience so you have the wherewithal to overcome - just like Jesus did.

Source: Joy in the Midst of Trials by Keith Butler
Excerpt permission granted by Word of Faith Publishing

Author Biography

Keith Butler
Web site: Word of Faith International Christian Center
 
Bishop Keith A. Butler is the senior pastor of Word of Faith International Christian Center. Keith Butler is the founder and president of Keith Butler Ministries (KBM), an international organization established to take the life-changing message of the Gospel to "the uttermost parts of the earth." Through Live Your Faith Seminars and the establishment of our PISTIS School of Ministry in various locations, Keith Butler provides teaching of the Word of God on a variety of subjects such as how to live the life of faith, how to fulfill the call of God for your life, how to receive your healing, the importance of walking in love and many more topics. PISTIS is specifically designed to train ministers so that they are equipped to go out into their world and teach and preach Jesus effectively.
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