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VALIANT FOR THE TRUTH

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PRECIOUS THING OF GOD

PART III

THE PRECIOUSNESS OF TRIAL

With much assistance derived from Octavius Winslow

 

I Peter 1:7 That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:

[Note the Greek word for trial in this verse is dokimion, which means a testing to see if something is approved or authentice, genuine. In otherwords a "proof test".

Winslow's three main points: trial, preciousness of trial, and blessings that spring from trial.

WHO THE LORD TRIES:

The righteous:

Psalms 11:5 The LORD trieth the righteous: but the wicked and him that loveth violence his soul hateth.

The Lord trieth the righteous: he doth not hate them, but only tries them. They are precious to him, and therefore he refines them with afflictions. None of the Lord's children may hope to escape from trial, nor, indeed, in our right minds, would any of us desire to do so, for trial is the channel of many blessings. [Treasury of David, Spurgeon, Vol I, pg 130]

The Lord trieth the righteous: Except our sins, there is not such a plenty of anything in all the world as there is of troubles which come form sin, as one heavy messenger came to Job after another. Since we are not in paradise, but in the wilderness, we must look for one trouble after another. As a bear came to David after a lion, and a giant after a bear, and a king after a giant, and Philistines after a king, so, when believers have fought with poverty, they shall fight with envy; when they have fought with envy, they shall fight with infamy; when they have fought with infmay, they shall fight with sickenss; they shall be like a labourer who is never out of work. --- Henry Smith [Treasury of David, Spurgeon, Vol I, pg 138]

The Lord trieth the righteous: Times of affliction and persecution will distinguish the precious from the vile, it will difference the counterfeit professor from the true. Persecution is a Christian's touchstone, it is a lapis lydius that will try what metal men are made of, whether they be silver or tin, gold or dross, wheat ofr chaff, shadow or substance, carnal or spiritual, sincere or hypocritical. Nothing speaks out more soundness and uprightness than a pursuing after a holiness, to stand fast in fiery trials argues much integrity within.--Thomas Brooks. [Treasury of David, Spurgeon, Vol I, pg 138]

The LORD tries US:

Psalms 66:10 For thou, O God, hast proved us: thou hast tried us, as silver is tried. God Had one Son without sin but he never had a son without trial. [Spurgeon]

The Lord chose his own people in the furnace of affliction.

Isaiah 48:10 Behold, I have refined thee, but not with silver; I have chosen thee in the furnace of affliction.

The beloved of the Lord are tried:

Revelation 3:19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.

Hebrews 12:6 For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.

WHAT DOES THE LORD TRY:

Per Winslow, the Lord tries everything that is divine, and good, and holy in the regenerate. [Precious, Winslow, pg 77]

As for example the Lord tries our Love:

John 21:15 So when they had dined, Jesus saith to Simon Peter, Simon, [son] of Jonas, lovest thou me more than these? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my lambs.

He will test the reality, the sincerity, the strength of our love to Him--whether it can confide in Him when He smites, cling to Him when He retires, obey Him when He commands.[Precious, Winslow, pg 77]

Also the Lord tries our patience and also to increase our patience:

II Thessalonians 3:5 And the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God, and into the patient waiting for Christ. [Lord God, Direct our eyes heavenward!]

Hebrews 10:36 For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise.

The Lord tries our Hearts:

Proverbs 17:3 The fining pot [is] for silver, and the furnace for gold: but the LORD trieth the hearts.

The Lord tries our Faith:

James 1:3 Knowing [this], that the trying of your faith worketh patience. 4 But let patience have [her] perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.

HERE WE WILL DIGRESS AS WE ALSO DISCUSS WHY THE LORD DOES TRY US:

1. OUR SAKE: We are tried that we may know our ownselves and our own sincerity of faith. By trials we may recieve assurance. Is this not Precious? I mean, is this not of great and immense value to us as believers in Jesus Christ. For we also by trials discover our weakness:

Matthew 13:4 And when he sowed, some [seeds] fell by the way side, and the fowls came and devoured them up: Some fell upon stony places, where they had not much earth: and forthwith they sprung up, because they had no deepness of earth: And when the sun was up, they were scorched; and because they had no root, they withered away. And some fell among thorns; and the thorns sprung up, and choked them: But other fell into good ground, and brought forth fruit, some an hundredfold, some sixtyfold, some thirtyfold.

Peter saw his weakness: Matthew 26:69 Now Peter sat without in the palace: and a damsel came unto him, saying, Thou also wast with Jesus of Galilee. But he denied before [them] all, saying, I know not what thou sayest. And when he was gone out into the porch, another [maid] saw him, and said unto them that were there, This [fellow] was also with Jesus of Nazareth. And again he denied with an oath, I do not know the man. And after a while came unto [him] they that stood by, and said to Peter, Surely thou also art [one] of them; for thy speech bewrayeth thee. Then began he to curse and to swear, [saying], I know not the man. And immediately the cock crew. And Peter remembered the word of Jesus, which said unto him, Before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice. And he went out, and wept bitterly. NO BOASTING IT IS GOD WHO WORKS IN US BOTH TO WILL & DO.

2. THE WORLD'S SAKE: As Luther was quoted "The church converteth the whole world by Blood & Prayer.

(1st) That they may be confirmed in Faith by our constancy:

Paul's Bond furthered the gospel, Philippians 1:13 So that my bonds in Christ are manifest in all the palace, and in all other [places];

"In prosperous times religion is usually stained with the scandals of those that profess it; and then God bringeth on great trials to honour and clear the renown of it again to the world, and usually these prevail. Justin Martyr was converted by the constancy of the Christians. Nay, he himself confesseth it. When he saw the Christians so willingly choose death, he reasoned thus within himself: Surely these men must be honest, and there is somewhat eminent in their principles. So I remeber the author of the Council of Trent saith concerning Anne de Burg, a senator of Paris, who was burnt for Protestantism, that the death and constancy of a man so conspicuous did make many curious to know what religion that was for which he had courageously endured punishment, and so the number was much increased." [James, Thomas Manton, pg 30]

AND So we must remember during our trials that the WORLD IS WATCHING and it may be for that very purpose that God sent or permitted such a trial our way.

(2nd) The Lord tries us with respect to the day of Judgement.

I Peter 1:7 That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ: "God will Justify Faith before all the World" [James, Thomas Manton, pg 31]

AGAIN, FAITH IS TRIED:

As in I Peter 1:7 That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:

Manton: It is the radical grace that keepeth in the life of a Christian, Habakkuk 2:4 Behold, his soul [which] is lifted up is not upright in him: but the just shall live by his faith.

Faith is tried because we are not to help ourselves nor RUN BEFORE the LORD but wait and depend on him: Isaiah 28:16 Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD, Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner [stone], a sure foundation: he that believeth shall not make haste.

And Faith must be tried to be strengthed and it is believing that makes the soul to stand: It was By FAITH THAT Hebrews 11:35 Women received their dead raised to life again: and others were tortured, not accepting deliverance; that they might obtain a better resurrection:

SO WE CAN BE SURE THAT if we have faith we ought to look for trials. Faith must be tried before it be "found to the praise and honour".

Hebrews 10:32 But call to remembrance the former days, in which, after ye were illuminated, ye endured a great fight of afflictions; and I Peter 1:7 That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:

ALSO Be sure to Look to your faith when under trials:

Luke 22:32 But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren.

Hebrews 12:5 And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him:

Let Faith help in trial: Romans 8:18 For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time [are] not worthy [to be compared] with the glory which shall be revealed in us.

TRIALS CAUSE PATIENCE:

Hebrews 12:11 Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby. AFter we are aquainted with trial and are exercised in it there is patience. SO

1. Be careful to gain from the trial the good God would have for you.

2. Do not act wickedly blaming God or fate. The fault of your behaviour is not the circumstances of your trial but the unmortifiedness of your affections -- of your flesh. READ THIS AGAIN AS THIS IS SUCH A COMMON DISEASE.

COMFORT AND ENCOURAGE YOURSELVES IN THIS: Fiery trials are nothing if you gain patience.

Christ saith: Luke 21:19 In your patience possess ye your souls.

A man is a man, and doth enjoy himself by patience: otherwise we shall but create needless troubles and disquiets to ourselves, and so be, as it were, dispossesed of our own lives and souls--that is, lose the comfort and the quiet of them. [James, Manton, pg 34]

Think what great troubles your own IM-patiency causes. ALSO another grace to couple with this is contentment. THINK WHAT IT COSTS YOU IN SOUL-QUIETNESS and SOUL-COMFORT to lack Patience and contentment!!!!

Trials are nothing if you gain patience by them.

NOTE ALSO ON JAMES 1:

James 1:4 But let patience have [her] perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.

Obs. 1. The perfection of our graces is not discovered till we are put upon many and great trials. As a pilot's skill is discerned in a storm, so is a Christian's grace in many and great troubles.

Obs. 2. That the exercise of grace must not be interrupted till it be full and perfect--till it come to ergon teleion, a perfect work....Patience must last to the end of the providence, as long as the affliction lasteth; not only at first, but when your evils are doubted, and the furnace is heated seven times hotter. Common stubborness will bear the first onset, but patience holdeth out when troubles are continued and delayed.

Obs 3. That Christians must aim at, and press on to perfection. The apostle saith, James 1:4 But let patience have [her] perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing. (1) Christians will be coveting, and aspiring to, absolute perfection.... First they go to God for justification, that the damning power of sin may be taken away; then for sanctification, that the reigning power of sin may be destroyed; then for glorification that the very being of it may be abolished.... They that have true grace will not be contented with a little grace; (2) Christians must be actually perfect. I Peter 1:15 But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; II Peter 1:5 And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity. For if these things be in you, and abound, they make [you that ye shall] neither [be] barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. -- A Christian should be found in nothing wanting. James 1:4.....Oh strive to be more entire and perfect. Obs. 3. They aim at perfection of duration, that, as they would be wanting in no part of duty, so in no part of their lives. Subsequent acts of apostacy make our former crown to wither; they lose what they have wrought. II John 1:8 Look to yourselves, that we lose not those things which we have wrought, but that we receive a full reward. All their spiritual labour formerly bestowed is to no purpose, and whatever we have done and suffered for the gospel, it is, in regard of God, lost and forgotten. Ezekiel 18:24 But when the righteous turneth away from his righteousness, and committeth iniquity, [and] doeth according to all the abominations that the wicked [man] doeth, shall he live? All his righteousness that he hath done shall not be mentioned: in his trespass that he hath trespassed, and in his sin that he hath sinned, in them shall he die. [James, Thomas Manton, pg 36-37]

WHAT TYPE OF TRIALS WE MIGHT BE CALLED TO:

RELATIVE TRIALS:

Trials that we called to experience with feeling hearts making the circumstances and pain of others part of our own.

Romans 12:15 Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep.

Galatians 6:2 Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.

Isaiah 63:9 In all their affliction he was afflicted, and the angel of his presence saved them: in his love and in his pity he redeemed them; and he bare them, and carried them all the days of old.

II Corinthians 11:29 Who is weak, and I am not weak? who is offended, and I burn not?

SPIRITUAL TRIALS:

What knows the world of trials springing from the indwelling of sin, from the temptation of Satan, from spiritual darkness, from the conflict of unbelief, from the infirmities of prayer, from leanness of soul, coldness of love, hardness of heart, perpetual tendency to spiritual relapse? Nothing whatever! But such are the soul exercises of many a saint of God, and these constitute his sorest trials. [Precious, Winslow, pg 84]

NOTE AGAIN WHAT IS PRECIOUS IN OUR TITLE VERSE:

I Peter 1:7 That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:

Precious refers to the preciousness of the trial of faith and not so much here as to faith itself.

 IN WHAT WAYS IS TRIAL PRECIOUS?

Trial is Precious because Trials try precious things.

- the regenerating work of the Holy Ghost in the soul.

- brokenness over sin.

- precious faith.

Psalms 27:13 [I had fainted], unless I had believed to see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living.

Hear the wonderful comfort contained in the words of Charles Haddon Spurgeon: Faintness of heart is a common infirmity; even he who slew Goliath was subject to its attacks. Faith puts its bottle of cordial to the lip of the soul, and so prevents fainting. Hope is heaven's balm for present sorrow. In this land of the dying, it is our blessedness to be looking and longing for our fair portion in the land of the living, whence the goodness of God has banished the wickedness of man, and where holy spirits charm with their society those persecuted saints who were villified and despised among men. We must belieive to see, not see to believe; we must wait the appointed time, and stay our soul's hunger with foretastes of the Lord's eternal goodness which shall soon be our feast and our song. [The Treasury of David, Spurgeon, Vol I on Psa 27:13]

Trial is Precious because it is the work of a loving God.

Trial is Precious because it increases the preciousness of Christ.

We ask, Is not trial a preciuos discipline, a precious correction, a precious school, that leads you more fully into the heartfelt experience of the preciousness of the Saviour? [Precious, Winslow, pg 88]

Trial is Precious because it brings forth precious fruit.

Such as the patience we discussed above:

Trial is Precious because it stirs us up to lay hold of God in prayer.

Psalms 88:9 Mine eye mourneth by reason of affliction: LORD, I have called daily upon thee, I have stretched out my hands unto thee.

Psalms 106:44 Nevertheless he regarded their affliction, when he heard their cry:

Isaiah 30:20 And [though] the Lord give you the bread of adversity, and the water of affliction, yet shall not thy teachers be removed into a corner any more, but thine eyes shall see thy teachers:

Trial is precious because it corrects false judgements.

Trial is precious because it authenticates our sonship.

Hebrews 12:5 And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him: For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not? But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons. Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected [us], and we gave [them] reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live?

Trial is precious because it brings us deeper into God's Word.

Psalms 119:71 [It is] good for me that I have been afflicted; that I might learn thy statutes.

HERE AGAIN I DIGRESS AS I REVIEW MANTON'S SERMON ON THIS VERSE:

AFFLICTIONS:

Keep us from greater evils: II Corinthians 12:7 And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure.

Purge out sin: Isaiah 27:9 By this therefore shall the iniquity of Jacob be purged; and this [is] all the fruit to take away his sin; when he maketh all the stones of the altar as chalkstones that are beaten in sunder, the groves and images shall not stand up.

Knock down self-confidence: Psalms 30:6 And in my prosperity I said, I shall never be moved. LORD, by thy favour thou hast made my mountain to stand strong: thou didst hide thy face, [and] I was troubled. Deuteronomy 32:15 But Jeshurun waxed fat, and kicked: thou art waxen fat, thou art grown thick, thou art covered [with fatness]; then he forsook God [which] made him, and lightly esteemed the Rock of his salvation.

TRIALS ARE GOOD and it is a great curse to be left to our own ways:

Hosea 4:17 Ephraim [is] joined to idols: let him alone.

Proverbs 1:31 Therefore shall they eat of the fruit of their own way, and be filled with their own devices.

Psalms 81:12 So I gave them up unto their own hearts' lust: [and] they walked in their own counsels. Oh that my people had hearkened unto me, [and] Israel had walked in my ways!

The three-Fold Profit of Affliction:

1-Affliction time is a serious thinking time:

Ecclesiastes 7:14 In the day of prosperity be joyful, but in the day of adversity consider: God also hath set the one over against the other, to the end that man should find nothing after him.

I Kings 8:47 [Yet] if they shall bethink themselves in the land whither they were carried captives, and repent, and make supplication unto thee in the land of them that carried them captives, saying, We have sinned, and have done perversely, we have committed wickedness;

Adversity maketh men to be serious as the prodigal: Luke 15:17 And when he came to himself, he said, How many hired servants of my father's have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger!

We are made to consider our own ways: Micah 6:9 The LORD'S voice crieth unto the city, and [the man of] wisdom shall see thy name: hear ye the rod, and who hath appointed it.

2-Affliction time is a serious hearing time:

Hebrews 5:8 Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered; And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him;

3-It is an Awakening Time1) From the sleep of death

The hogs trough awakened the prodigal.

2) Quickened to be more careful of their duty:

Hosea 5:15 I will go [and] return to my place, till they acknowledge their offence, and seek my face: in their affliction they will seek me early.

We may consider that all affliction this side of HELL is good, quickened but not condemned. I Corinthians 11:32 But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world.

LASTLY TO PERSUADE US TO SEE IT IS GOOD TO BE AFFLICTED:

1. Faith

Philippians 1:10 That ye may approve things that are excellent; that ye may be sincere and without offence till the day of Christ;

Romans 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to [his] purpose.

2. Love

Psalms 73:1 {A Psalm of Asaph.} Truly God [is] good to Israel, [even] to such as are of a clean heart. Love pronouces a hard affliction to be good. It is good because it comes from God.

3. Gain Spiritual Wisdom in esteeming things in their proper order.

II Corinthians 12:10 Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.

Losing earthly comfort to be put more in mind of that which is heavenly. By an aching head God may give you a better heart and if so it is good.

4. Diligence

Hebrews 12:11 Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby. God exerciseth us by the Rod and we must excerise ourselves under the Rod.

Psalms 119:162 I rejoice at thy word, as one that findeth great spoil.

Psalms 119:103 How sweet are thy words unto my taste! [yea, sweeter] than honey to my mouth!

Psalms 119:50 This [is] my comfort in my affliction: for thy word hath quickened me.

Trial is precious because it causes us to examine our Christian progress and hope.

Trial is precious as a moral discipline.

Hebrews 12:5 And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him: For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not? But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons. Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected [us], and we gave [them] reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live? For they verily for a few days chastened [us] after their own pleasure; but he for [our] profit, that [we] might be partakers of his holiness. Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.

Trial is precious because it brings us to divine holiness.

II Peter 1:4 Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.

PARTAKERS OF HIS DIVINE HOLINESS. THE HOLINESS THE LORD WOULD HAVE FOR US IS HIS OWN HOLINESS, IMPARTED

Psalms 119:75 I know, O LORD, that thy judgments [are] right, and [that] thou in faithfulness hast afflicted me.

John 16:33 These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.

Trial is precious because it brings sensiblity.

SUMMARY:

Precious trial that makes Jesus more precious, the throne of grace more precious, the discipline of the covenant more precious, the word of God more precious, and the prospect of going home to glory more precoius!

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