Answers

By   •   January 23, 2009   •   Topics:

Q:

Does God sometimes test our faith by letting hard times happen to us? If so, why does He do it? Doesn't He already know whether or not our faith is genuine?


A:

Sometimes God does test our faith, just as He tested the faith of the ancient Israelites by allowing them to go through hard times in the wilderness, “in order to know what was in your heart” (Deuteronomy 8:2).

Remember: If our faith is weak, it may not be obvious when life is going smoothly and we aren’t challenged in any way. But when hard times come, a weak faith will be revealed for what it really is: shallow and unable to help us through life’s difficulties. It may be anything: an unexpected illness, the death of a loved one, the loss of our job, or even a friend who turns against us. But when hard times happen, the true nature of our faith will be revealed.

But God doesn’t test us because He doesn’t know how strong we are.

Instead, He tests us because we don’t know how strong we are — and we’ll only realize it when times of testing come. The psalmist prayed, “Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts” (Psalm 139:23).

None of us likes to go through hard times (and God isn’t necessarily behind them, even if He does allow them). But God can use them to show us our weaknesses. And when that happens, we need to ask God to help our faith grow. Testing should make us spiritually stronger — and it will as we turn it over to God. The Bible says, “Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials … so that you may be mature and complete” (James 1:2, 4).

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37 Comments

  1. Brandon says:

    I feel this way right now. I’ve been through a lot, yet I’ve always had faith. My present situation is hard to have faith. But I’m still believing and trusting God, even if my heart aches, and I know that things will eventually turn around.

  2. Desmond Sampson says:

    Thanks for this answer. My faith is being tested now and I realize I need to put things in Gods hands. I need to trust in God more and stop getting depressed when times get hard.

  3. ANN MARIE says:

    Love this topic

  4. Aaron Burn says:

    Thank you so very much for this article. It really put my life into perspective.

  5. Carol Jerosloe says:

    Right now I am going through breast cancer and this was verynhelpful

  6. Sam Rajan says:

    This was truly helpful. :)
    God bless !

  7. Ronald coleman says:

    This is so true when it comes to faith.Me and my wife have seen and been thru something that our minds couldn’t believe at all.So we learn together to wait and hope patiently for the blessings of our beloved Lord.Although our lives feel as if we are in a dark place in our reality because we live within this day but the faith is stronger then ever because we know that our Father hear and see the thing that we are still enduring. But just knowing the promise of God is well worth it.My brother and sister’s please hold tight to your faith and God will see you thru the hard times.

  8. Anna says:

    I’m tried. I don’t mind admitting that. I feel I am tested 75% of the time. I am weary and I still pray. Still have faith. But one thing happens after another. Over and over. I’m living a decent life. I’m praying and praising God. Trying not to question to much. I am tired though. I am now just praying that the tests will stop for a while. I’m sick of hearing “God won’t give you more than you can handle.” That makes no sense. If we are truly being tested in order to be taught to give our burdens to God, then that sentence says the opposite. It says he give us on what we can handle yet we are to come to him. See God can fix things we can not. So yes in order to teach us to rely on him he may give us more than we can handle alone.

    1. Linda says:

      I found a quote that I find more truth in than “God won’t give you more than you can handle.” There is a lot of hard things that happen in your life caused by other humans, not God. The author is unknown, but I find strength in hard times from the following quote: “God doesn’t give us what we can handle; God helps us handle what we are given.”

  9. TJ says:

    Bless every one including those who fall on hard times. Your Faith will prevail, hold on.