What is it about faith that keeps demanding of us greater testings? Why do our afflictions grow more intense, more severe, the closer we get to Christ? Just when we come through one trial that proves us faithful, here comes another test, increased in its intensity. Many godly saints must ask, “Lord, what is this awful trial about? You know my heart and you and I both know that I will trust you no matter what.”
Think about it: the very day you committed your life to trust God, no matter the cost, he knew your present trial would come. He knew then — and you know now — that you would love him through everything that comes at you. By grace, you are determined to be an overcomer.
The reason for such continual testings is well known to most Christians. That is, the life of faith continually demonstrates humankind’s need for the Lord in all things. We never reach a point of not needing God. As Jesus tells us, our purpose is not to seek having our needs met, but to feed on every word that proceeds from the mouth of God: “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God’” (Matthew 4:4).
An additional reason behind our ever-increasing afflictions — our trials that demand ever greater faith — go far beyond anything having to do with this world. God’s elect are being prepared for eternal service in heaven.
Ever-increasing afflictions, demanding ever more steadfast faith, become a stumbling block to many believers. Paul was accused by fellow Christians of being chastened by God. They said his sufferings were the result of lack of faith, or because of some secret sin he was hiding. And humanly, we can’t comprehend why he had to endure some of the hardships he went through. And by Paul’s own testimony, we know that none of these things moved him — and his life proved it.
“But none of these things move me; nor do I count my life dear to myself, so that I may finish my race with joy, and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God” (Acts 20:24).
Beloved, you are being weaned from everything that is of this world. God is present with you to take you through to your eternal reward.