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Trials of our Faith

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Do you feel burdened with unfair trials? Do you feel that the people around you have been blessed with an easy life while you're struggling to survive? Then you need to learn the truth about the trials of our faith.

Faith: Promise of Things Hoped For:

Hebrews 11:1 says, "Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." The Joseph Smith Translation (JST) of this verse replaces the word substance with assurance:

"Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen."

The word assurance means confidence or promise. If your replace "substance" with the words "confidence" or "promise" it helps us understand faith, which helps us to have faith during our trials:

"Now faith is the [confidence] of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen."

"Now faith is the [promise] of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen."

Works of Faith:

Having faith means to act, thus our works show our faith. Verses 4 through 40 of Hebrews 11 give several examples of people who exercised faith, meaning they acted upon the Lord's commandments without knowing beforehand how they would accomplish His will. Some of these people include Noah, Abraham, Jacob, Moses, Daniel, Rahab, and more. It also mentions the sufferings and trials that they went through. The JST of verse 40 gives the reason for these trials and tribulations:

"God having provided some better things for them through their sufferings for without sufferings they could not be made perfect."

Trials Necessary for our Salvation:

Without trials, without faith, without works of faith we cannot become perfect in Christ. Trials and sufferings are NECESSARY to our salvation.

President Brigham Young said, "Every trial and experience you have passed through is necessary for your salvation," ("Healing Power of Forgiveness," May 2007 Ensign, 68.) Also see "Suffering is Necessary."

Faith Made Perfect Through Works:

Our faith is made perfect through our works. James teaches this true principle:

"What profit is it, my brethren, for a man to say he hath faith, and hath not works? can faith save him?"
"Therefore wilt thou know... that faith without works is dead and cannot save you?" (JST James 2:14,18).
James then gives the example of Abraham's test of faith when the Lord commanded him to sacrifice his son Isaac. Abraham had received a promise of the Lord that his seed would come through Isaac. He also knew the Lord had power to bring Isaac back from the dead. Abraham acted upon his faith in Jesus Christ and did as the Lord commanded him. (See Heb 11:17-19)

James then asks this question in verse 22, "Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect?"

Gratitude and Joy of Trials:

We should be thankful for our trials and embrace them, especially when they try our patience:

"My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into many afflictions; Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing." (James 1:2-4, italics are from the JST)

More Precious Than Gold:

Peter also teaches that our trials of faith should be more precious to us than worldly wealth, "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."

Faith in Christ = Patience in Trials:

If we choose to have faith in Christ than we choose to suffer the patience of our trials just as Moses did:

He "refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter: Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season; Esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt...." (Hebrews 11:24-26)
I know our trials are truly blessings in disguise; blessings meant to purify us so that when we come out of the refiner's fire we will be sanctified in Christ. I pray that your trials of faith will be to you more precious than that of silver or gold.

Also see the related articles, "What is Faith?" and "Temptations and Trials."

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