THE TRIAL OF OUR FAITH - 2021 Print E-mail

The Trial of Our Faith -2020/2021

Pastor Carolyn Sissom

February 28, 2021; October 7, 2012

 

After the freeze and storm of 2021, the election of 2020, COVID, and now the Biden Administration and the 117th Congress’ agreement with Hell in their policies, many Christians are in a trial of their faith.

 

The gospel, and gospel church knows no frontier except the frontier of Faith.  This faith will break forth a church with the splendor of the noon-day sun.  For those of us who have come through many trials of faith, we have the assurance that we will spend eternity riding the crest of the waves of Faith.

 

Those of “little faith” will fall to the side.  We must be able to speak into these that they not lose faith and fall away.

 

Jesus spoke forcefully about “little faith.”

 

 Mt. 8:26:  Jesus said to them (the disciples), “why are you fearful, O you of little faith?”

 

Luke 12:28: If God so clothes the grass, which today is in the field and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, how much more will He clothe you, O you of little faith.

 

Matthew 14:31: Jesus stretched out His hand and caught him (Peter), and said to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?

 

Matthew 16:8: Jesus said unto them (the disciples), O ye of little faith, why do you reason among yourselves, because you have brought no bread?

 

Jesus’ uses Little Faith to describe fear of lack, provision, safety, and well-being – basically the LORD’s providential care of His own.   

 

“Faith says that order grows from chaos and that life is born from death.  That from the wreck of rending stars behind the storm; there dwells a heart of central calm; and this, this is FAITH” (author unknown)

 

Isa. 54:11-12:  O you afflicted, tossed with tempest, and not comforted, behold, I will lay your stones with fair colors, and lay your foundations with sapphires.  I will make your windows of agates, and your gates of carbuncles and all your borders of pleasant stones.”

 

Those of us who are seasoned in our walk of faith know we are not flying by blind faith.  Faith sees.   Faith is never blind.  Faith sees the solution not the problem.  Faith sees the answer not the question.  Faith sees the miracle not the mess.  Faith gives us eyes to see what God sees.  

 

We know in the midst of the storms around us we are in the middle of God’s plan to deliver us out of the tempest of the storm into the promise of God.

 

We have an ungodly administration over the government of the United States who are intentionally taking our nation to the brink of economic collapse to finance an ideology of Socialism and Marxism.

 

Global warming is not about climate change.  It is about devaluing oil in order to devalue the dollar.  The 1.9T stimulus package is fiat money flooding the national and international economy to devalue the dollar, thus creating inflation which is a back door to higher taxes.

 

Our hero of Faith today is Habakkuk. 

 

He is described in Hebrews 11:32-39: The prophets who through faith’s power conquered kingdom and established true justice. Their faith wrought righteousness, and obtained promises.  It was faith that shut the mouths of lions, quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the word, out of weakness were made strong, waxed valiant in fight, turned to flight the armies of the aliens.  Women received their dead raised to life again. And others were tortured, not accepting deliverances; that they might obtain a better resurrection: and others had trails of cruel mockings and scourgings, yea moreover of bonds and imprisonment:  They were stoned, they were sawn asunder, were tempted, were slain with the sword: they wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins; being destitute, afflicted, tormented; (Of whom the world was not worthy. They wandered in deserts, in mountains, in dens and caves of the earth.

 

P.T. reads: Their faith sparked courage within them. 

 

Habakkuk gave us the revelation, “The righteous will live by Faith.” 

 

Heb. 10:38-39: Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draws back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him.  We are not of them who draw back unto perdition; but of them that believe to the saving of the soul.

 

“As in the days of the prophet Habakkuk, the civil law and moral law was “slacked,” literally “chilled” (Hab. 1:4). It had been rendered ineffective, paralyzed.  It had come to be looked upon as being without force or authority.  Because of unrighteous judges, true law and justice had been set at naught.  Most forms of judgment were corrupted; hence, life and property were insecure.  The wicked were hemming in the righteous.  Miscarriage of justice was the order of the day, ensnaring the God-fearing by fraud; the ungodly perverted all that was right and honest.” 

 

Hab. 2:4:  Behold, his soul which is lifted up is not upright in him, but the just shall live by his faith.  Because he transgresses by wine, he is a proud man…

 

Habakkuk prophesied during the closing years of the wicked king Manasseh. The sins of the fathers carried over to the sons and the grandsons.  Their most horrible practice was the sacrifice of human beings, especially children, to the gods of the heathen (2 Kings 21: 1-5).

 

Manasseh was filled with wickedness.  Horoscopes, witchcraft, sorcery, and séances polluted his court.  Nothing was sacred, not even human life.  He offered human sacrifices to the heathen god Molech, “the abomination of the children of Ammon” (1 Ki. 11:7; Lev. 18:21; 20: 3-5; 2 Ki. 23:10).\

 

Another idol who demanded live human offerings was Chemosh, the national god of the Moabites. 

 

 

Isa. 28:14-15: Hear the word of the LORD, you scornful men, that rule this people which is in Jerusalem.  Because you have said, we have made a covenant with death, and with hell are we at agreement; when the overflowing scourge shall pass through, it shall not come unto us: for we have made lies our refuge, and under falsehood have we hid ourselves… (17-18) Judgment also will I lay to the line, and righteousness to the plummet: and the hail shall sweep away the refuge of lies, and the waters shall overflow the hiding place. And your covenant with death shall be disannulled, and your agreement with hell shall not stand; when the overflowing scourge shall pass through, then ye shall be trodden down by it.

 

Manasseh’s and Habakkuk’s society not only killed its babies; it was marked by blatant, militant homo-sexuality and lesbianism, and had been for years.  From Solomon’s day on, a myriad of pagan gods whose temple prostitutes were both male and female had invaded the land.  The gay/lesbian issue does not set forth a new morality or an alternative life style.  It is the same old abominable immorality.

 

Like the prophets of the Old and New Testament, we have been given great and wonderful promises that the LORD is going to deliver our nation and bring the church into a great Harvest of souls.  If we were not going through this great trial of our faith, the Church would not be pressing into God in prayer and fasting.  It is through our pressing into God that in the fullness of time, Heaven will invade earth and the glory of God will cover the whole earth.  

 

My personal experience with the Lord has been once Faith is dropped into my heart by the Lord then there is a trial of that Faith.  God gave Abraham the promise early, but fulfilled it late.  As Abraham waited, he learned the ways of the Lord and became the father of the faithful for all generations to come.

 

God gave David the promise early, but fulfilled it late.  But the trials that he went through worked in him a heart “after the heart of God” and the shepherd boy from Bethlehem became a shepherd king over all Israel.

 

God gave the whole human race the promise early, and fulfilled it late.  God promised that the “seed of the woman” would bruise the serpent’s head”.  Men almost despaired of the promise, but in the “fullness of time” He came forth.  Jesus, the author and finisher of our Faith is better than all of the Old Testament faithful’s.

 

1 Pet. 1:7: That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perishes, though it be tired with fire might be found unto praise and honor and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ.

 

With great joy, I continue to share my testimony of when the LORD spoke to me in a dream in 1990.  He said, “Your faith has been purified in the fire seven times, go and teach it.”  In the dream, on my feet were silver slippers.  The scripture confirms this word in Psalm 12:6:  The words of the Lord are pure words, like silver tried in a furnace of the earth, purified seven times.

 

This means our faith will be tried, tested and purified. 

 

This also means that the end-time faith of God must be purified as silver is tried in a furnace of the earth, purified seven times. 

 

The writer of Hebrews reminds them of the great reward they had earned in the early days of their salvation.  The writer says, “This is no time to throw away your confidence.”  In 10: 32-36, he reminds them of the former days, “which you were illuminated.  You endured a great struggle with sufferings…. therefore, do not cast away your confidence which has a great reward.”

 

He is referring to the “prophet’s reward.”  Jesus mentioned it to His disciples, “Blessed are you when men hate you, ostracize you and heap insults on you…for the sake of the Son of Man.  Be glad and leap for joy, for great is your reward in Heaven, for in the same way their fathers use to treat the prophets.” (Luke 6:22, 23)

 

Habakkuk’s prophecy is divided into three parts:

 

  1. The burden----the Problem of faith 1:1: “The burden which Habakkuk the prophet did see…” sobbing faith grappling with the problem.
  2. The vision----the answer of faith 2:2: “The Lord answered me, and said, write the vision, and make it plain upon tables, that he may run that reads it” ---seeing faith grasping with the solution.  Faith hears!  Faith Sees! Faith acts!
  3. The prayer ---the assurance of faith (chapter 3) ---Faith Worships- glorying in the assurance.

 

In chapter 1, the prophet’s faith is tested.  In Chapter 2, faith is taught.  In Chapter 3 Faith is triumphant in the Person of God, the power of God and the Purpose of God.

 

In the midst of judgment of the greedy nobles and shameless religious leaders, God’s promises are conveyed to the faith filled. 

 

The revelation of Jesus Christ in the book of Habakkuk is in 1:12: “Are you not from everlasting, O Lord my God, my Holy One?”  the One who justifies the righteous by faith, and the One who will fill the earth “with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea” (2:4).  Jesus Christ is here revealed as the Judge of Babylon (Rev. 17-18) and the Rewarder of those that diligently seek Him.

 

Heb. 11:6:  Without faith it is impossible to please Him; for he that comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him.

 

Like Job, Habakkuk neither used his questions to shield himself from moral responsibility nor shunned God’s claims upon his life.  He was genuinely perplexed at what he perceived as God’s unpredictable nature of dealing with him.  He actually raised his protests because he thought so much of God, and hungered and thirsted to see God’s righteousness vindicated.  God’s revelation of Himself laid the ghost of the prophet’s doubts to rest and gave birth to a finer faith.

 

This powerful prophecy begins with a sob and ends with a song!  What did the prophet see that so impacted and changed his life?  What was his vision about?

 

The Chaldeans are not coming to our nation…they are here!  Their names are global warming, lawlessness, economy, immorality, false gods, and violence.

 

Our times match those of Judah and Jerusalem over 600 years before Jesus was born.  The Book of Habakkuk is the Word of the Lord to America in her present day of trouble.

 

The good news is that Manasseh did repent and two generations later, Godly King Josiah, Manasseh’s grandson, rediscovered the Scriptures in the House of the Lord. 

 

What is faith?  “It is the substance of things hope for, the evidence of things not seen.”

 

  1. Faith is a spiritual force.  God is a Spirit.  He is a Faith God who is only pleased by Faith. (Heb. 11:6)
  2. Faith is the absence of doubt; the opposite of fear.  (11Timothy 1:7)
  3. Faith is the present tense.  “Now Faith is… (Hebrews 11:1).
  4. Faith is a gift.  It is an impartation of the Lord.  (Romans 12:3)
  5. Faith is a fruit of the Holy Spirit.  It grows.  (Gal. 5:22-23; Rom. 1:17)
  6. Faith comes by hearing of the Word of God. (Romans 10:17)
  7. Faith speaks (Romans 10: 6-10).
  8. Faith acts.
  9. We live by Faith.  (Gal. 2:20, Acts 17:28)
  10. Prayer of Faith – Prayer that touches God and brings the answer (James 5:15, 1Jn. 5:4).

 

Faith is one of the power or action gifts which enable us to do the Works of God.  Weymouth describes the Gift of Faith as the God given ability to perform the impossible.

 

Faith works by love – If we hold onto offense and unforgiveness, it blocks the power of supernatural faith working in our lives.  That is why Satan works so hard to cause jealousy, offense and competition in churches.  I have purposed to walk in love so miracles can be released from my life.

 

The fruit of Faith is one of the characteristics of the nature of Jesus Christ. 

 

Hebrews 10: 35-36: Do not cast away your confidence which has a great reward.  For you have need of endurance, so that after you have done the Will of God, you may receive the promise.

 

The Rhema Word means “that which is spoken (Faith speaks) what is uttered in speech of writing (Vine).  It is commonly used to denote the Living Word (prophetic word) in contrast with the Logos (written word).  The logos becomes the Rhema when spoken in the anointing (Mt. 4:4; Lk. 1:37-38; Ro. 10:8).

 

Hebrews 1:1-3: God, who at sundry times in divers’ manners spoke in times past unto the fathers by the prophets, has in these last days spoken unto us by His Son, whom he has appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds; who being the brightness of His glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the majesty on high;

 

Faith is based as it is on the firm Word of God.   It assures one of the realities of the invisible world and its superiority to the visible.  Faith is fundamental to perseverance.  Perseverance is Faith in the evidence of things not seen.  Faith does not come into agreement with circumstances which are contrary to God’s way and will.

 

The dynamic of Faith is described in Hebrews 10:38: The righteous shall live by Faith.  In its primary meaning that despite circumstances, man who believes God and is walking in the revealed Will of God will be preserved and prosper.  In the church era, we are lifted to a higher plane than the ancients.  The promised life (the promise) is in the very life of the risen Christ.

 

 

The trial of our Faith can be one of the hardest things to overcome.  Why do the Godly suffer? 

 

Just as Habakkuk is grappling with the circumstances around him, there are many today unable to reconcile and understand the tragic reality we are witnessing with the bedrock conviction that all history and life is under the direct control of a sovereign, omnipotent and Holy God.

 

Habakkuk approached God with a storm of anguished questions and complaints. Hab. 1:2-4: He proceeds in turbulence but at length Habakkuk emerges tranquil and confident (2:1-4; 3:16-19).

 

The inescapable reality appears to contradict this.  Habakkuk cannot ignore the problem.  Indeed, the need to resolve it becomes for him imperative and urgent.  He goes into travail and is pregnant with a gospel revelation and truth, “The just shall live by Faith.”  In his travail, he births this great truth.

 

If we know how to get in the presence of Jesus, we can come out to face the trial of our faith and overcome with a deep-rooted peace that will render us steadfast and immovable.  Like Habakkuk, the church of the 21st Century can bring forth the Faith of God into the world. 

 

Habakkuk’s ministry is the reverse of the prophet’s traditional role.  Habakkuk deals with God for the people rather than dealing with the people for God.

 

The promise of eternal life for the Faith-righteous man/woman is a living, creative, active, mighty force of Faith.  So, it is impossible for this great power to fail to produce good works.

 

Whatever God brings you to, He will bring you through. 

Faith is Tested and Faith is Proven - When we find ourselves at the end of our own strengths and capabilities, we are ready to enter the next realm of the Spirit.  When we come to the end of ourselves, we discover the beautiful beginnings of God.  Faith leads us through difficult trials, but the anointing gives us the power to overcome them. 

 

Carolyn Sissom, Pastor

Eastgate Ministries, Inc.

Scripture from KJV – I entered into the labors of Kelley Varner, Rest in the Day of Trouble and excerpts from a sermon by Pastor Carolyn Sissom, Faith is a Fact I.

 
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