It is exams in this house! Not an easy period as we work hard and have to discipline ourselves. To test something, is to prove it by trial. A teacher tests the quality of learning by trial of a written or oral test. A goldsmith or silversmith, would prove the quality of a metal, by trial of fire. Whenever we need to understand performance, reliability and quality, we test it.
God tests us.
In fact, as a believer following God, God WILL test us (1 Thes 2:4). Most of the time He is testing the quality of our faith, or our understanding, or our performance by putting us in test situations.
This is not because God does not know, God is Omniscient, He knows everything (Psalm 139:1-6). God does not test us to find out what He does not know, He tests us to reveal to us where WE are and what WE do not know.
He tests us to show us if we:
- Have our identity in Christ (Gal 3:29 “belong to Christ” and “heirs according to the promise.”)
- Have strong faith (1 Peter 1:6-7 “In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. 7 These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith – of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire – may result in praise, glory and honour when Jesus Christ is revealed.”)
- Have a sense of purpose that perseveres in circumstances: (James 1:2-3 “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.”)
- Are obedient (2 Cor 2:9 “…to see if you would stand the test and be obedient in everything.”)
- If we rely on God for everything (Eph 2:8-9) “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith – and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God – not by works, so that no one can boast.” And Psalm 104:27 “All creatures look to you to give them their food at the proper time.”
- So that things will go well with us, after testing. (Deut 8:16 “He gave you manna to eat in the wilderness, something your ancestors had never known, to humble and test you so that in the end it might go well with you.”) (Romans 8:28)
All believers will be tested. Even Jesus faced testing after receiving the Holy Spirit in Matt 4:1-11, and again in the garden of Gethsemane (Matt 26) and his persecution during various trails leading up to the cross. Abraham was tested multiple times, the most obvious one we think of is the test of his faith in the sacrifice of Isaac. When Abraham passed this test, he became Father of many nations of believers, who by faith, trust God (Heb 11:17-19 and Rom 4:16).
David in Psalm 139, considered the Omniscience and Omnipresence of God, his own creation and the number of days ordained for him by God, then prays and ask the Lord to test him (Psalm 139:23-24)
“Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts.
See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.”
Testing proves the quality of our faith to ourselves.
It shows that our faith is real and that we are God’s children. We should expect to be tested. By testing, we know what is in our hearts.
“Remember how the Lord your God led you all the way in the wilderness these forty years, to humble and test you in order to know what was in your heart, whether or not you would keep his commands.” (Deut 8:2)
“…because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. 4 Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” (James 1:3-4)
James 1:12 “Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.”
Whatever the source of our testing, it is to our benefit to undergo testing and to mature in the Lord. (Rom 8:28)
Thank you Lord, that I can know that You love me because You put me in test situations. Thank you that You show me my level of faith, so that I may grow and mature in my relationship with You. Help me not to get upset when I am tested, but to understand that it is your desire for me to grow into a mature believer, who is strong in faith; able to persevere; obedient yet knowing my purpose and identity in the Lord; able to rely on You in all circumstances; knowing that You always work for my good.