Your Greatest Test

By Royce Frederick

What will be the greatest challenge to your faith? What will come into your life and present the most danger for causing you to fall away from Christ? Will it be persecution, poverty, riches, sickness, false teachings, betrayal by friends, or something else?

David stood in faith against a giant warrior, Goliath — but fell into sin with a woman, Bathsheba.

These events are recorded in 1 Samuel 17 and 2 Samuel 11. In the first, David was busy serving his family and the Lord. In the second, he was idle. A heart which is not occupied with worthwhile industry is more easily led into harmful pursuits (see Ezek. 16:49; 1 Tim. 5:13; 2 Thess. 3:11).

Paul warns the young preacher, Timothy:

“Let no one despise your youth, but be an example to the believers in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity. Till I come, give attention to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine” (1 Tim. 4:12-13).

Flee also youthful lusts; but pursue righteousness, faith, love, peace with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart” (2 Tim. 2:22).

“But you be watchful in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry” (2 Tim. 4:5).

David repented of his sin with Bathsheba, and the Lord forgave him (2 Sam. 12:13). But his sin brought terrible problems upon his family (2 Sam. 12:7-14). Even our worst sins can be forgiven, if we truly repent (see 1 Tim. 1:12-17). But we cannot always remove the results of our sin upon our life and the lives of those around us. It is far better to resist temptation, with the help of God, before damage is done (see Jas. 1:14-15; 4:7-10; 1 Pet. 5:6-9).

All of us who preach — and all Christians — need to be constantly diligent in our labors and always watchful to avoid temptations which can destroy us, our loved ones, and the work we have been doing for the Lord.