Trials’ Lessons

Last Sunday, Pastor Jason Finley preached from Genesis 20-21 and encouraged us to rejoice in the Lord’s faithfulness to preserve his promise.

Read: Genesis 22

This Sunday, Pastor Jeremy Chasteen will preach from Genesis 22 and will encourage us to trust God by faith to provide for all our needs. As you prepare for our Sunday gathering, prayerfully reflect on this devotional from John MacArthur, asking that God would strengthen your faith through even the smallest of trials in this life.

Reflect: “Trials’ Lessons: Faith”

“By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac; and he who had received the promises was offering up his only begotten son.”

Hebrews 11:17


The main reason God allows trials in the lives of Christians is to test the strength of their faith.

The memorable example in Genesis 22 of Abraham’s testing is perhaps the severest trial any human being has ever faced. When God told Abraham to offer his only son Isaac as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of Moriah (Gen. 22:1–2), Abraham no doubt was stunned. In terms of God’s nature, His plan of redemption, His promise to Abraham, and His love for Isaac, the entire concept was utterly inconceivable and unprecedented.

But in the face of all that, Abraham showed remarkable faith in dealing with this trial (Gen. 22:3–8). He did not second–guess God, as many of us would, but rather obeyed immediately (v. 3) and displayed the confidence that he and Isaac would return (v. 5) and that God would supply a lamb for the offering (v. 8). Then Abraham showed he was ready to obey completely. Genesis 22 tells us he “bound his son Isaac, and laid him on the altar on top of the wood. And Abraham stretched out his hand, and took the knife to slay his son” (vv. 9–10). What unbelievable faith, and what a dramatic moment when God spared Abraham from the full cost of obedience (vv. 11–12)! The story clearly shows us the nature of true faith (Gen. 15:6) and why Abraham was later called the father of the faithful (Rom. 4:11–12; Gal. 3:6–7).

As heirs to Abraham and his extraordinary trust in God, we can also endure the most difficult trials and pass tests of faith that seem unimaginably severe at the time. God might want us to offer our own loved ones to Him and let them go His way rather than tightly holding on to them for our own purposes. However, if we look to God as Abraham did (Heb. 11:17–19), we can be confident in any trial and know with certainty that our faith has passed the test.


Suggestions for Prayer: Pray that God would strengthen your faith even in the smallest of daily trials.

For Further Study: Read 2 Kings 20:1–11 and 2 Chronicles 32:24–31. What was at the heart of Hezekiah’s difficulties (2 Chron. 32:25)? ✧ Why did God test him (v. 31)?

“Trials’ Lessons: Faith,” in Strength for Today, by John MacArthur.

Sing: Song List for Sunday

1. “May the Peoples Praise You,” by Keith & Kristyn Getty
2. “Redeemed by the Blood of the Lamb,” by People & Songs
3. “Only a Holy God,” by CityAlight
4. “Christ the True and Better,” by Matt Boswell & Matt Papa
5. “Promises,” by Matt Boswell & Matt Papa