Blessing disguised in the form of test
James 1:2-8 (AMP) Consider it nothing but joy, my brothers, and sisters, whenever you fall into various trials. 3 Be assured that the testing of your faith [through experience] produces endurance [leading to spiritual maturity, and inner peace]. 4 And let endurance have its perfect result and do a thorough work, so that you may be perfect and completely developed [in your faith], lacking in nothing. 5 If any of you lacks wisdom [to guide him through a decision or circumstance], he is to ask of [our benevolent] God, who gives to everyone generously and without rebuke or blame, and it will be given to him. 6 But he must ask [for wisdom] in faith, without doubting [God’s willingness to help], for the one who doubts is like a billowing surge of the sea that is blown about and tossed by the wind. 7 For such a person ought not to think or expect that he will receive anything [at all] from the Lord, 8 being a double-minded man, unstable and restless in all his ways [in everything he thinks, feels, or decides].
There are blessings within the tests. The only transportation method of blessings are through test. God’s Word and His work have two sides. There is power within suffering and hardship. There are blessings within the tests. The purpose of God leading His people to the place of testing, tribulation, and suffering is to grant something. There are two tests. One is created by our own sin and the other one is to grant us blessings. But even if the tests are caused by sin and we properly repent and turn to God, there can be abundant grace even though He may have to spank, discipline, and scold us. Therefore, you must not reject or despise His discipline. Although God may have to discipline and scold us, but most cases, there is hidden grace, blessings, and God’s overflowing love. The test may appear fearful, brutal and may even feel difficult to sea with but there is hidden overflowing grace from God.
We may recognize or realize we are lacking many things. When there are tests or problems occurring in our households, church and ourselves, it is very important to quickly find out what we need or lack. And we need to come kneeling before God. God’s will is within the discipline. God is very intentional. In other words, God gracefully attempts as He brings many plans and chances. The Tests themselves may not be pleasing but rather they may be hurtful and painful but God will grant us something great. The more difficult tests correlate with the more perfected things God wants to grant us accordingly. Within the greater suffering and tests, the greater prayer answers will be granted. When I face certain problems, I would think in such a way, “What will God grant me through this problem?” I create some kind of expectation.
The more we pray, the more your spiritual capacity will expand. The more capacity you expand, the more you can put in. The more capacity you have, you will become a stronger person of faith. When you become a vessel with great spiritual capacity, you will be utilized as a powerful weapon of God. When it comes to God’s work, there are many kinds of spiritual territory and ministry work. The area where you are strong, God will utilize. The more you pray, the more you will gain greater faith. In your prayer, you will say, “God, although my circumstance may appear poor, I can do it through You, please help me!” Therefore, when we are in the midst of discipline, we must be thankful for all things. Even if insignificant events or things are given to us, we must be very thankful for all our hearts.
Why are people disciplined in the first place? When there is no thankfulness, when people are stingy, prideful, narrow-minded, quick or hot temper, easy to get angry, offended, and colliding with others. These are the reasons why we are in discipline because God has to break us. Even in the world and in your working place, if you behave according to your temper and bad behavior, the company or the place you work will fire you. You will not be able to work with such behavior. In your working place, the people above you may give pressure and stress you out, you will need to sustain and hold your ground. In the spiritual realm, there will be many difficulties. You must hold your ground and endure as you properly think and manage your emotion. You must endure and hold your ground then God will grant something great.
A true story. There was a man who was retired under the retiring age limit. He was still able to work since he was only about 65. However, the only work available for him to do was to fill gas at the gas station. Previously, he was in some sort of a high position in his previous company. But as he worked in an ordinary job filling gas for customers at the gas station, his position dropped dramatically to the bottom. He was only be able to make about one thousand dollar a month. He was looked down at his place of work. All kinds of customers came to fill their gas. He had always respected the customers with all his heart as he carried his work faithfully and thankfully. He realized that God had placed him in such a position so he was determined to serve customers. He was always thankful even in the insignificant things. He is thankful, faithful, respectful and nice behavior was well known all throughout the town. His sacrificial work for the customers impressed one particular woman. She was so impressed and she approached the man.
“This work you do is not really pleasing work. But as I observe you, you are doing it with so much joy. I am very impressed with your serving attitude.”
The man said, “It does not just work. I am very thankful that this work is given to me. I am very thankful that I can do this work. I have the joy to do this work and it is worth doing it. I am a Christian and I do this work with full of joy. No matter what kind of work it may be, I will be able to do with a thankful heart”
This woman was shocked and impressed. This woman was the president of a particular company. She hired him and he was exalted to a higher position from the lowest position from a gas station.
What are the reasons why people are still in the place of discipline? There could be few a reasons but because something is still within them they are required to pass tests. Other reasons may be because people easily collide with each other, they cannot endure, cannot be patient, and they have a hard time managing their emotions. When you are in the midst of discipline, you may need to change your thinking. You must be thankful even for the smallest things. You must have a good relationship with all the people around you. Then God will utilize you. Even if you pray a lot, if you have a bad relationship with the people around you, God cannot utilize you.
When you are in the midst of discipline, you need to try to know more about God. We have bad habits such as being frequently late to church services, walking back and forth in the midst of services, and so on. God watches you in all the things you do include in the hour of listening to the preaching, praying and worshipping as well. God sees you when you come to church early and take care of church needs, cleaning the church areas, cleaning the bathroom, turning off the church lights when there are no people, cleaning the kitchen area, doing the dishes, organizing the church items, emptying the trash cans and other sacrificial work and services. Do you think God will not see these works? He sees all you do. With such an attitude and thinking, you must live a life of faith. Don’t try to make someone else work with you because if the other person you want to work with does not cooperate with you, you may fight and end up arguing. If you see something that needs your attention, just do it without any words. There are so many things that you can do in the church to serve.
When it comes to doing God’s work, before you carry out the grandeur, great, and getting people’s attention doing the work of God, you will need to carry out the small matters that require your hands to serve. In fact, you will need to capture some church work as you observe what needs to be done and do it with your heart. Do not point out to the other people that they need to do the church labor work. Do not pray to God to make someone else work it. If you see and know what to do, then you must just do it. Don’t say you have done so much. When it comes to doing God’s work, you must be willing to do it a thousand times if necessary. You do not do God’s work with your mouth but with your body.
When we are in the test or discipline, we need to an exam and begin organizing the things that are around us and the things of God that we may have lightly handled and neglected. We must try to fix and transform our faith walk, habits, and behavior. When you read the bible, do not read it with a sleepy-dust in your eyes, messy hair, and unwashed face. Try to read the bible with a clean face, well-combed hair with rightly seating position (kneeling down as well). Since God also sees the heart, if you read it rightly with a renewed determined and refreshed mind, God will manifest. In the faith realm, depending on how you prepare and your attitude, the work and manifest of God can come differently.
When a test comes, you must be more determined. The more you need to try to know God, the more you need to be loyal to Him and the more you need to pray. You need to live more holy and clean lives. When you are in the midst of discipline, you need to think, “I should not be living like this. I need to organize and settle some things in my life. I need to be more mature. I need to grow up. I need to know more about God. I want to transform into His image.”
In the book of James, in verse 1:4 says, “…you may be perfect and completely developed [in your faith], lacking in nothing.” This verse is God’s intention. It is why the testing of your faith comes? It is because God is trying to create something within you. If you are weak on endurance, this must be strengthened. If you are lacking in prayer, you need to make prayer into an energy and be suffice. When God grants us something, we need to be prepared beforehand. If we are not prepared even if God grants us something, we will depreciate what God grants us. Whatever God grants us, if we are not prepared, it won’t last long. People with the holy gifts who are not backed up with prayer will not last long with their holy gifts. These kinds of people will gradually lose the thankful heart of God’s holy gift. These types of people will want more things and eventually become prideful.
In the book of 2 Chronicles chapter 20, some united armies came against king Jehoshaphat. Then king prayed and praised God. They did not wear armor nor held weapons to the war.
5 And Jehoshaphat stood in the assembly of Judah and Jerusalem, in the house of the Lord, before the new court, 6 and said, “O Lord, God of our fathers, are you not God in heaven? You rule over all the kingdoms of the nations. In your hand are power and might, so that none is able to withstand you. 7 Did you not, our God, drive out the inhabitants of this land before your people Israel, and give it forever to the descendants of Abraham your friend? 8 And they have lived in it and have built for you in it a sanctuary for your name, saying, 9 ‘If disaster comes upon us, the sword, judgment, or pestilence, or famine, we will stand before this house and before you—for your name is in this house—and cry out to you in our affliction, and you will hear and save.’ 10 And now behold, the men of Ammon and Moab and Mount Seir, whom you would not let Israel invade when they came from the land of Egypt, and whom they avoided and did not destroy— 11 behold, they reward us by coming to drive us out of your possession, which you have given us to inherit. 12 O our God, will you not execute judgment on them? For we are powerless against this great horde that is coming against us. We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you.” 13 Meanwhile all Judah stood before the Lord, with their little ones, their wives, and their children.14 And the Spirit of the Lord came upon Jahaziel the son of Zechariah, son of Benaiah, son of Jeiel, son of Mattaniah, a Levite of the sons of Asaph, in the midst of the assembly. 15 And he said, “Listen, all Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem and King Jehoshaphat: Thus says the Lord to you,‘Do not be afraid and do not be dismayed at this great horde, for the battle is not yours but God’s.16 Tomorrow go down against them. Behold, they will come up by the ascent of Ziz. You will find them at the end of the valley, east of the wilderness of Jeruel. 17 You will not need to fight in this battle. Stand firm, hold your position, and see the salvation of the Lord on your behalf, O Judah and Jerusalem.’ Do not be afraid and do not be dismayed. Tomorrow go out against them, and the Lord will be with you.” 18 Then Jehoshaphat bowed his head with his face to the ground, and all Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem fell down before the Lord, worshiping the Lord. 19 And the Levites, of the Kohathites and the Korahites, stood up to praise the Lord, the God of Israel, with a very loud voice. 20 And they rose early in the morning and went out into the wilderness of Tekoa. And when they went out, Jehoshaphat stood and said, “Hear me, Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem! Believe in the Lord your God, and you will be established; believe his prophets, and you will succeed.” 21 And when he had taken counsel with the people, he appointed those who were to sing to the Lord and praise him in holy attire, as they went before the army, and say, “Give thanks to the Lord, for his steadfast love endures forever.” 22 And when they began to sing and praise, the Lord set an ambush against the men of Ammon, Moab, and Mount Seir, who had come against Judah, so that they were routed. 23 For the men of Ammon and Moab rose against the inhabitants of Mount Seir, devoting them to destruction, and when they had made an end of the inhabitants of Seir, they all helped to destroy one another.
The Six W’s cannot be applied to the spiritual realm and faith realm. These questions are only applied to the physical realm and we live by them. But God transcends these questions.
Who did that?
Where did it take place?
When did it take place?
Why did that happen?
How did it happen?
God tested Abraham by commanding him to give his son as a burnt offering. The test may make no sense. But you cannot question God in the spiritual realm. You cannot say “Why?” “Why do I need to do that?” “Why do I have to go?” These questions are called disobedience in the spiritual realm. These questions do not work in the spiritual realm.
In the book of 2 Chronicle, when God powerfully worked and manifested, the united armies who came against king Jehoshaphat killed each other. When the people of God obeyed the Word of God, not only did they win the battle but were blessed with the spoils. In fact, it took about three days to gather all goods.
2 Chronicles 20:24-25 When Judah came to the watchtower of the wilderness, they looked toward the horde, and behold, there were dead bodies lying on the ground; none had escaped. 25 When Jehoshaphat and his people came to take their spoil, they found among them, in great numbers, goods, clothing, and precious things, which they took for themselves until they could carry no more. They were three days in taking the spoil, it was so much.
When test, suffering, and discipline comes your way and if you only properly react and pass it, the Lord will bless and reward us with the things that are beyond your imagination. The unexpected blessings, exceeding blessings, free stuff, bonuses, and all the good gifts will be given to us only if we have a proper and unshakeable faith. God rewards us with gifts. If you faithfully serve, worship, praise, giving thanksgiving in all situations, things and are praying, God will be greatly impressed. When God is greatly impressed by our faithful action, He will begin to give many things. Sometimes, God will take things or blessings from others just to give to us. It is God’s desire to give all things to us. There will always be spoils after the wars. When you go through difficult times, you need to open your mouth. What do I mean by it? Run to the temple of God, the church and cry out to God as you pray. If you only fervently pray and cry out to God, God will restore all things. God will work and manifest without even you knowing Him work. When it is difficult, you must open your mouth in order to survive. In the midst of difficulty, God will interfere for you.
1 Peter 5:6 (NLT) So humble yourselves under the mighty power of God, and at the right time He will lift you up in honor. 7 Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you.
Our ultimate enemy is the evil spirits. After all, the problems occur in our psychological area, mental area, and above all these, the problem is in spiritual area. The person who has strong spirituality and live by the lead of the Spirit, this person can overcome all areas of the psychological area, mental area, and flash area. Please head in the right direction and be on a right path. Please overcome daily.
Sermon by Pastor Kim, Yong Doo
Head pastor of the Lord’s Church, Korea
Author of Baptize by Blazing Fire book series
Translated by Pastor Steve & Yoojin Kim
Pastors of Fire of God Church in San Francisco (Fremont)
Fire of God Church is a branch church of the Lord’s Church, Korea and is under the spiritual covering of head Pastor Kim, Yong Doo