The Power of Genuine Faith in Times of Adversity

Thursday, August 31, 2023

Jesus asked a pointed question in Luke 18:8. A question we need to ask ourselves. The Lord questioned, “When the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on the earth?”

The eternal Son incarnated in human flesh, who knows everything, doesn’t ask questions because He is searching for an answer. He is not trying to find information. Instead, Jesus was making this point: Will He find faith in you when He returns?

If you examine the context of Luke 18:1-8 closely, the loss of faith at the end of the age is intricately tied to injustice (Luke 18:8). There will be great injustice immediately prior to His return, driven by the love of money, control, and power.

Like many believers, I think we are undoubtedly living in the days just prior to Jesus Christ’s second coming. Therefore, based upon the Lord’s parable and prophecy in Luke 18:1-8, we can expect unprecedented injustice. Sadly, this will result in many losing their faith (2 Thess. 2:3-4). What some are now calling “deconstruction,” Scripture calls “the shipwreck of their faith,” “depart from the faith,” or “apostasy” (1 Tim. 1:19; 1 Tim. 4:1; 2 Thess. 2:3).

For about a year-and-a-half, following the Covid-19 pandemic, the world has been in a lull between birth pains. But I believe another round of end-time birth pains are around the corner. Even though I don’t know exactly what it will look like, I’m certain it will be driven by evil men and women seeking greater wealth, control, and power. Therefore, we must be prepared so that our faith will not fail.

Genuine Faith Is Greater Than Wealth

Though everything that can be shaken will be shaken (Heb. 12:27), what’s of utmost importance is the condition of your faith. Are you progressing in faith or regressing in faith? Truth be told, you never stay stagnant in your faith. You are either moving forward with greater faith in Jesus Christ or you are moving backward in doubt and unbelief.

Peter said you are:

Protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you greatly rejoice, even though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been distressed by various trials, so that the proof [genuineness] of your faith, being more precious than gold which is perishable, even though tested by fire, may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ; and though you have not seen Him, you love Him, and though you do not see Him now, but believe in Him, you greatly rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, obtaining as the outcome of your faith the salvation of your souls. (1 Peter 1:5-9, emphasis mine)

Notice the word “proof,” which could be translated genuine. Fiery trials, whether the fiery trials at the end of the age or whatever trial you are presently experiencing, will reveal if your faith is genuine. The Greek word for “proof” or “genuine” is derived from the Greek word dokimos. Speaking of dokimos, the Blue Letter Bible’s Outline of Biblical Usage states the following:

In the ancient world there was no banking system as we know it today, and no paper money. All money was made from metal, heated until liquid, poured into moulds and allowed to cool. When the coins were cooled, it was necessary to smooth off the uneven edges. The coins were comparatively soft, and of course many people shaved them closely.

In one century, more than eighty laws were passed in Athens to stop the practice of whittling down the coins then in circulation. But some money-changers were men of integrity, who would accept no counterfeit money; they were men of honour who put only genuine, full-weight money into circulation. Such men were called dokimos, and this word is used here for the Christian as he is to be seen by the world. (Donald Grey Barnhouse, Romans: God’s Glory, p. 18.)

Fiery trials work to purify your faith and to prove whether your faith is genuine. Whether it is dokimos.

You can’t rely on your parents’ faith; your grandparents’ faith; your friends’ faith; or your spiritual leaders’ faith. You must have your own faith. A fire-tested, genuine faith able to overcome the pressures, persecutions, and trials of this age.

John said, “For whatever is born of God overcomes the world; and this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith” (1 John 5:4). True faith in Jesus Christ overcomes the world.

Your faith is one of the most important things about you—far more important than wealth. In the words of Peter, your faith is more “precious than gold which is perishable.”

You may not have much money in your bank account, but if you have genuine, fire-tested, proven faith, you are spiritually rich. And conversely, you might have millions of dollars, but if your faith is dead, useless, and inoperative, you are a pauper, for spiritual wealth is measured by the genuineness of your faith in Jesus Christ.

Peter said that some of the trials you are going through are necessary. But some are unnecessary. Necessary trials are the ones God allows to purify your faith. Unnecessary trials are the product of bad choices you have made in the past, which you are now reaping in the present. You could also be experiencing unnecessary trials that are demonically inspired.

It’s important to discern the source of your trials. If the trials you are experiencing are demonically inspired, then you must wage war against the enemy. If the trials you are experiencing are the result of bad choices, then you must start making good, Spirit-led decisions immediately if you want your circumstances to eventually change. If the trials you are experiencing are allowed by the Lord to do a deeper work in you, then you need to submit to the Lord in the trial, grow closer to Him, and overcome the trial by faith.

When the Lord returns and He is revealed in His glory, He will either praise and honor you for your faith; or you will be one of those whom the Lord wondered about, when He questioned whether He would find faith in the earth when He returns.

I don’t know about you, but this challenges me. I want to be one in whom the Lord finds an ever-growing, active, alive, operative faith when He comes. I want my faith to produce the fruit of obedience and good works. I hope you feel the same way.

More Information

If you want to hear more about the importance of faith, you can watch my recent message Renewing the Mind – Part 3.

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Bryan Kessler