(Hebrews 11:17-19, Romans 4:13-25)

  1. Being tested by God is the best place to be, it means God values you! (Heb.12:5-11)  We must not confuse a test of God with consequences we bring upon ourselves! (Gal. 6:7)
    1. Maybe we don’t agree with what God is trying to do in us? (Removal of selfishness, idols, gossip, slander, addiction)
    2. Maybe we agree, but we don’t believe that the timing is right. (Too much going on in our lives right now)
    3. Maybe we agree with God about the above areas, but we make excuses for why things need to stay the same. (sin can become comfortable in the flesh, never in the Spirit)
  2. Often times we don’t realize we are being tested because we think everything in our lives is fine, (James 4:1-10), and:
    1. We have an idea of how God would change us and this isn’t it! This is not our plan. (James 4:13-17)
    2. We think we know what God needs to do about our selfishness, covetousness, envy, strife etc. (WE R ?less)
    3. We really believe that everyone else is the problem.
  3. This leads to:
    1. Frustration-not succeeding in fixing the problem.
    2. Failure- realizing we can’t fix the problem.
    3. Faith- falling on our knees before a God who is able!

The best place for us to be is at the end of ourselves!

 The blessing begins when the testing begins. (James 1:2-4)

    1. Tests of God are blessings in disguise.
    2. Tests of God teach us to rely on God.
    3. Tests of God result in spiritual growth.
    4. Tests of God remove us from love of this life!
  1. Step #1 Deny yourself– (plans, thoughts, agendas), and rely on God! (Mark 8:34-38, Prov. 14:12, 1 Cor. 13:11-12)

Transition- To, DENY SELF is to PUT YOUR”SELF” ON THE SHELF totally!

  1. Step #2 Increase your effectiveness/fruitfulness through pruning! (John 15)

Transition-    John 15:2  Every branch of mine that does not bear fruithe takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes,that it may bear more fruit. ESV

  1. Step #3 Embrace transformation– now and later (Romans 12:1-2)

Transition- A consistent desire to be in the PROCESS of transformation!

  1. When tested will you be found groaning or growing?
  2. Blessed are those who, when tested, are TRIED IN TRUTH!

Key to transformation!

The blessing of the testing comes through the pain of the pruning!!!