The subject of today’s message is: THE TRIED.
Our Scripture reading is found in Psalm 66. We will start with verse 8.
How can anyone who has not been tried speak of such a thing?
Well, no one who has not been tried can even understand this message until they have had this experience.
Being tried is not the easiest part of being a child of God.
We are tried by the use of family, friends, Church members, and by enemies to the Gospel.
We are tried by our own imaginations going wild.
We are tried by our reactions to situations.
We are always on the battlefield as we serve the Lord. But all we have to remember is, 1 Samuel 17:47b —-the battle is the Lord’s.
We don’t have to fight our battles.
Trials come, my friend; they come, but we should remember trials are like a tunnel. They have a beginning and an end. We can see light at the end of a tunnel. When we are going through them, we see nothing but darkness, but we as Christians, still have the sense that we are still moving: we are in place, moving forward.
It’s like the times when we are in the middle of being tried, that we realize how powerful the grace of God really is: how He is in charge, because we have no strength on our own, our trust cannot be in the flesh.
Flesh won’t help, it has to be God who is carrying us through.
Look at Psalm 66:8-12 —-O bless our God, ye His people, and make the voice of His praise be heard:
which holdeth our soul in life (which implies a previous condition of great danger), and suffereth not our feet to be moved.
For Thou, O God, hast proved (or tested) us; hast tried us as silver is tried.
Silver, according to ancient methods, required a prolonged process of refining before it could be pronounced pure, so you could say it this way, “You, through a long process, have purified us with fire.”
Verse 11,12 —-Thou broughtest us into the net (or into a dungeon or stronghold); Thou laidest affliction upon our loins (The meaning is, You crushed us down under a heavy weight of oppression, or laid great burdens on our backs).
Thou hast caused men to ride over our heads; we went through the fire and through water: but Thou broughtest us out into a wealthy place.
Men came against us to harm us, but in the end, You brought us out into wealth and great abundance, a place of refreshment, a place of liberty.
Look at verse 16-20 —- Come and hear, all ye that fear God, and I will declare what He hath done for my soul.
I cried unto Him with my mouth, and He was extolled (or celebrated) with my tongue.
In all these verses, it seems the Psalmist has been through a terrible trial. He began to praise God with His mouth and tell others how God brought him out but. But God did more than just bring him out of this trial, He moved Him into a place of refreshment, a place of liberty, a place of blessing. He was elevated into another level with God by the passing of this great trial.
I have been told when we are tried, and don’t pass the test of endurance, and trust God to fight our battle: by this, I mean, we take it into our own hands —- we will at some point in life, have to take this same test over again.
It is much better for us to go ahead and watch God move on our behalf, and wait it out, and let God get the victory for us, than to have to face this again.
You who have never been through a trial, don’t know what I’m talking about, but you will face one at some point and time as you serve the Lord.
2 Corinthians 8:2 —- How that in a great trial of affliction (or in a time of much trouble) the abundance of their joy and their deep poverty abounded unto their riches of their great liberality.
Paul is writing a letter to the Corinthians to inform them of how the Macedonian Churches who were going through a time of great trouble, were still filled with joy that they could be in an overflow of giving to the Churches in Jerusalem.
Many of us who are going through a great trial, whether it be physical or financial, whatever it is, could learn from these Macedonians. They were only acting on the principles of the promises of God.
They didn’t allow Satan to steal their joy, and they were sowing an offering against their own poverty to minister to the needs of the saints.
What a wonderful example to us.
If we are being tried, we should first praise God through it, and then trust Him for the outcome. Also we should ask Him, “Lord, what can I learn through this?”
I promise, He will show you, and bring you to a greater understanding of how He works.
Let’s go to James 1:2-4 —-My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations (or various trials):
Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh (or develops) patience.
But let patience have her perfect (or complete) work, that ye may be perfect (or mature) and entire (or finished), wanting nothing (or lacking nothing).
There is a difference in going through trials that develops patience, and being tempted to do evil. Being tempted to do evil, is being drawn and enticed by your own lust. God does not tempt man to do evil (James 1:13-18), but look at Verse 12 —-Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love Him.
James tells us to count it all joy when we fall into trials (Verse 2), but he is not talking about falling into sin, He is talking about discovering that we can find strength to overcome temptation and endure trials, through the love of God and His power. Without the power of God in the life of a believer, trials can cause him to become bitter and critical and lose the crown of life.
Verse 12 reads, …for when he is tried… This should tell us something, we will be tried at some point in our lives.
God knows men’s ways
In Job 23:10, Job is talking —- but He knoweth the way that I take: when He hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold.
Job is saying He knows every detail of what is happening to me, and when He hath tried me: when He has examined me, I will come forth as gold: He will pronounce me completely innocent.
God does reprove Job and humble him through this trial, but Job comes out the better for it.
Look at Job 42:12a —-So the Lord blessed the latter end of Job more than his beginning: and Verse 10 says …the Lord gave Job twice as much as he had before…Which brings us back to Psalm 66:12 again —- Thou hast caused men to ride over our heads; we went through fire and through water: but Thou broughtest us out into a wealthy place. And Verse 10 —-For Thou, O God, hast proved us: Thou hast tried us as silver is tried.
The trying of our faith is of great value to us in our relationship with God. It brings us to a place of humility and trust that we as humans can’t seem to learn and grow without.
We will finish this message with Revelation 3:18 —-Jesus is talking here—-I counsel thee (or advise you) to buy of Me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.
What is He talking about here? Is he telling us to buy something material from Him? No. He is telling us we are to learn as much as we can through the trials we go through in life, and consider them as gold for our growth in righteousness.
Jesus tells us that those He dearly and tenderly loves, He tells them their faults and convicts and convinces and reproves and chastens them. He disciplines and instructs them. So we are to be enthusiastic and in earnest and burning with zeal and repent: changing our minds and attitudes (From Verse 19).
We can learn by living every thing the Word tells us, or we will have to learn by experience through trials by fire.
Which-ever way we choose, we still have to learn one way or the other. It seems to me most people have to learn the hard way.
Then we can call ourselves, THE TRIED.
Pray this prayer with me:
Lord, forgive me for doing it my way. Help me to learn what Your Word says and do it, so I won’t have to learn everything through being tried. Show me what you want me to learn from the trials I have already been through and the one I’m in now. I submit to you and humble myself before You. I repent of self-dependence. I now depend on You.
Use me and help me grow so I can be what You intended me to be in Your kingdom. Thank You, Father.