Let's take a look at Matthew 13:31. "Another parable put he forth unto them saying, The kingdom of heaven is like to a grain of mustard seed…." We've found the mustard seed again. Let's see what He's saying about it this time.

"The kingdom of heaven is like to a grain of mustard seed, WHICH A MAN TOOK AND SOWED in his field."

Now we are beginning to find out that He's not talking about the size of the seed, even though the mustard seed is very small; He's talking about what you do with it.

Many things can happen to the see, but the enemy knows you're the only one who can actually pull that seed out of the ground. No one else can. So he uses tests, trials and temptations to try to get you to change what you're saying about the seed you've just planted.

The True Source of Tests And Trials
For years I thought the tests, trials and temptations came from God, until I finally found out that they are coming from the enemy, trying to get me to pull my faith off the situation. He sends them to get you to become weary and faint in your mind, to get disgusted, defeated, discouraged.

He's doing everything he can do to get you to change what you're saying and pull out those seeds which you've planted. That's the purpose of the tests, trials, and temptations.

"Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man…. Do not err, my beloved brethren. Every good and every perfect gift is from above and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness neither shadow of turning" (James 1:13, 16-17).

Many people have the idea (I used to myself until I got into the Bible) that the tests, trials and temptations are what make us strong. As long as I thought that was what they were there for, I thought God was sending them no matter what James 1 said. I wanted to believe my experience instead of the Bible.

Did you know that tests, trials, and temptations don't make you strong? They do not make you strong.

Now, you can use them if you want to, to gain strength, but THEY do not make you strong.

Let me give you an example. Let's take a man who is a weight lifter. Did you know that it's not the weight that is making him strong? He is using the weight to gain strength, but the weight is not making him strong.

You can take a man and put him on a weight bench, put a bar across his chest and begin putting weights on it. He can lie on that bench saying, "This weight is making me strong. I believe this weight is making me strong. I'm just going to lie here and put up with it because it's making me strong."

More and more weight is put on him until finally, it just crushes the life out of him. And the whole time he thought the weight was making him strong.

What does make him strong is when he takes that weight and pushes it away from himself. The weight doesn't make him strong - it's what he does with it.

We've thought the tests and trials that came along were making us strong. No! They're going to be there just because we live in this world. The only way those tests and trials are going to affect our faith in a positive way is when we use our faith to push them away. Use our words to push them away. That's when we gain strength.

The Enemy is Relentless
The enemy is going to try to throw them at you because he's trying to get you to pull your faith out of the ground, trying to get you to pull that seed out before it grows and produces. He knows when it produces it will dominate him in that area.

Don't sit back and say, "Well, I know this problem is here for my good. I know God wants me to learn something from it. He wants to make me strong." No. You won't gain any strength until you push it away!

Take your faith, take your words, speak to those things and say, "I don't care what it looks like, I believe I'm healed by the stripes of Jesus" or whatever scripture fits the circumstance.

Take your faith, release it through your words and push those tests, trials, and temptations away from you.

Copyright © Mark Brazee Ministries
All rights reserved. Used by permission.