There is a doctrine that flows through parts of the Body of Christ that says God sends or brings problems, trouble, and painful events into our lives to “test” us or to “try our faith.” Supposedly, those tests are made up of sickness, handicaps, financial problems, accidents, natural disasters, and any number of other destructive things. We have plenty of scripture to nullify that teaching, yet it persists throughout many groups of believers.
The truth is that God’s Word clearly says in Galatians 3:13-14 that all the things included in the curse of the broken law (Deuteronomy 28:15-68) have been laid on Jesus Christ in our stead, and that we have been redeemed from all of them. Now, to be sure, the enemy tries to lay them on us still yet, but when we know the Word and live our lives daily in faithfulness to it, we can throw off those attacks and walk free the way the Lord intends for us to do. Whatever the Lord already laid on Jesus, He is not bringing upon us now — nor is He giving the devil “permission” to bring those things on us. For God to deliberately cause or allow those things to be placed on us now would be a slap in the face of Jesus and a rebuttal of all that He suffered in our place.
Actually, even under the Old Covenant, before Jesus took it all for us, God still did not use sickness, financial problems, natural disasters, or tragedies to “test” the faith of His people. While under that Covenant, there was no grace provided by Jesus’ redemptive work, so God had to deal with every situation through the law. But even then, there is no time recorded anywhere in the Word where God sent any of these evils onto His people to “test or try their faith.” To be sure some of these things came on them as punishment for deliberate rebellion, but that’s a whole different story — and as we said earlier — thanks to Jesus’ taking our punishment, that situation no longer exists.
We gave the devil permission to act on this planet when we chose to believe him rather than God in the Garden of Eden, and he is free to act against us if we will let him get away with it. The Lord tells us repeatedly in His Word that we are the ones who open the door to the enemy or close the door to him, and we can tie God’s own hands by not staying in obedience and faith. We can actually keep Him from being able to help us. Even Jesus could not do what He wanted to do in His own home town to deliver and heal people because the people were in rebellion and unbelief. (Matthew 13, Mark 6). So Christians need to stop blaming God for the evil things that come into their lives and stop copping out of their own responsibility to take a stand in faith against the attacks of the enemy.
A careful reading of God’s Word will show that the Lord used only two methods of “trying” or “proving” the faith of His people. He either offered them something of great value or power and waited on them to decide how they would respond to it (as He did with Solomon) or He calls them to take a great step of faith and move onto another level spiritually (as He did when He “tested” His disciples by telling them to feed the 5,000 + people.) He never puts things that are from the curse of the law (sickness, plague, pestilence, defeat by enemies, natural disasters, etc) on us to test or try or prove our faith.
We have further evidence of that in Jesus’ own words to us in John 10:10. He tells us clearly that He is the Good Shepherd, who came in by the legal door (being born as a human being into the earth). He also identifies Satan as the thief who has come in illegally because he was not born into the human race. Then Jesus lays the facts on the table and states emphatically that it is the thief who “kills, steals, and destroys.” But it is God who “gives life, and not just life — but abundant life.”
We get another confirmation of that fact in the epistle of James, chapter 1, verses 13-17. The Lord tells us here not to say when we are tempted (and that word is also translated tested — it’s exactly the same word.) that the temptation or the test is from God. This fact is true when we are talking about being tempted to sin, but it is just as true when we are talking about being in a battle with any kind of evil, hurtful thing, because that kind of battle is always a “temptation” to turn from God. None of those things comes from His hand. Jesus has already said so. If it kills something in your life, if it steals something from you, if it destroys something good in you or your life — brothers and sisters — it is NOT from God. We have His Word for it.
But there’s even more good news. Not only does God not send things our way that will tempt us to turn from Him or to be disobedient to His Word and His will, but even when the enemy brings those things against us, God will always provide a way for us to overcome them and escape them without being defeated by them. He will give us the victory every time, if we will follow His Word and His Spirit. (1 Corinthians 10:13).
So the next time you find yourself in the midst of a trial of your faith, dear one, grab hold of these promises and stand your ground until you have the victory. Let these words live big inside of you and renew your mind with them. Remember: it’s the enemy who brings the tests. It is God who brings you the victory.
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