Our Tests & Trials

We always hear about test and trials. People come to me and say something like, “Oh dear God, brother. The Lord is testing me terribly, I don’t know what to do.” Well, “Dear God,” is right! Really? Is this what you have come to me for?

Look, if indeed you are being tested, as James tells us, “Rejoice!” Don’t worry about it because it is an open-Book test. There is nothing to worry about, because the teacher giving the test, also wrote the Book — the Bible — and all you have to do is read the book, and you will always Ace the test!

Paul wrote to the church in Thessalonica and told them:

Since We have already been tested and found fit to be entrusted with the Good News, we aren’t talking to please men but to please our God, Who tests our hearts expecting them to be approved” I Thessalonians 2:4)

Okay, then sure, our Father tests us. But why does he test us? Does He test us because He isn’t sure whether we can handle it? Because He wants to make sure we are worthy of being a member of His family? No, you silly bunny! No! Seriously, ask yourself, who really benefits from the testing? Does our God? What good does it do Him, if we pass or fail the test?

Later Elohim tested Abraham and called to him, “Abraham!”

“Yes, here I am!” he answered.

Elohim said, “Take your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to Moriah. Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains that I will show you” (Genesis 12:1-2)

Okay, this was the beginning of the relationship between the Lord and Abe and was He unsure of Abe’s sincerity? Was He still wondering whether he would be faithful? Hmm, Think back to your years in school. You are taking a class and a teacher throws a test! Oh no! So, is the teacher testing you to see how good of a teacher they are? Are they hoping to learn something in the test they are giving you? No to all of it! The test are given to determine whether you have mastered the material you were taught.

Testing is absolutely necessary and benefits the one being tested. They may think they are ready to graduate — that they know it all. Well, the testing allows them to discover what the reality is. It confronts them with the Truth! Take this observation Solomon made:

I thought to myself, “Elohim is going to test humans in order to show them that they are like beasts” (Ecclesiastes 3:18)

I can assure you, Elohim already knew they where like beasts. The testing came so they could see their reality, and would draw closer to Him and change their way. In our lives, He still tests us, but the tests are so we can experience victory! Our Father lives by faith and He believes that we will win every test. Think of Him as a proud parent who tells their child to “Go out there and show them what you got,” fully expecting them to win!

As Yeshua saw a large crowd coming to him, he said to Philip, “Where can we buy bread for these people to eat? Yeshua asked this question to test him. [Because] He already knew what He was going to do (John 6:5-6)

Our Father allows us to enter into faith combats so we can witness His deliverance and victory over our circumstances! When we are faithful where we are, the test our our God gives, proves we can handle a larger sphere of responsibility.

The larger the task ahead — the bigger the test required now. He doesn’t test us to hurt us or to defeat us. He does it because He loves us too much to put us into a position of responsibility which would be way over our heads, where we would be put to shame.

Our tests should be “bread” for us (Numbers 14:7-9). We should grow stronger in our faith as we pass each test. No, it isn’t the test that makes us strong, but rather, the Word of God. That is what makes us strong as we learn to use it to overcome the test.

I used to think that our God would never test us. He is God, remember? He is the SUPREME BEING and would certainly know what is in us. By golly, it is part of His job description. He doesn’t need to test us. He already knows how much we can handle — but we don’t. And the times of testing will prove our strength . . . or the areas of weakness that need to be strengthened. Isn’t that what James told us:

My brothers and sisters, be very happy when you are tested in different ways. You know that such testing of your faith produces endurance. Endure until your testing is over. Then you will be mature and complete, and you won’t need anything (James 1:2-4)

But wait, I think the biggest mistake we make is only thinking that our tests will be physical suffering or financial losses. Often, our personal trials are internal, focused on your attitudes or emotions. It might be a purging of our will or desires. But please understand that when the testings come (in whatever shape they come in), the Lord will be testing and trying us in the area of our greatest need. He will always test you on your obedience to His Word. Whereas Satan. will always tempt you to disobey God’s Word.

Even in the lives of the most fervent believer, you will often find that the very foundations in their lives are shaken; times when they either hang on to heaven or fall into destruction; times when they anchor their faith in the Rock of God’s Word or to lose all hope. It may come from pressures from without, or tremendous struggles within, but they will come. They will almost always be troubles and difficulties that were not anticipated, possibly a time of disillusionment when it seems you have given more to God than you are receiving.

Have you ever felt that “it wasn’t supposed to be this way!”? “That’s not the way my TV preacher told me it would be. If I ever saw him in person I’d cram these tapes down his throat.” I am talking about honest, gut-level pain. But here’s the thing., many times the Lord’s answer will simply direct you to be patient and to stand on His Word. His plan is in place, just trust Him.

There may be times when you feel as though He is silent. But please, don’t confuse His silence with indifference or you will really be miserable and miss His best for your life. If you give up when you do not understand, you will reject His caring, steadfast love and cut yourself off from your only real hope of deliverance. That is of course exactly what Satan is hoping you do — give up, pack it in and quit.

Scripture tells us that Lord will be like a refiner’s fire or a launderer’s soap, and He will purify His priests and refine them. But what form this refining and purifying takes is totally in His hands. I do not know what He is doing with you or in your life, but I do know His desire is for you to become identified with His suffering and to be conformed to His image. Whatever it is that is standing in the way will be burned away!

Look, if He never tested us, then we would never know when to resist the devil and when to submit to God. However, His tests are different than the temptations and trials of the devil. As I explained, Our Father tests us so we can learn to act on His Word, and to trust Him.

We should always stand in faith, and resist the devil and his works. God’s Word always works — but not always instantly. The moment we take our stand on God’s Word to when the answer manifests, constitutes the test. The Psalmist declared:

Yahweh’s promise tested him through fiery trials
    until his prediction came true (Psalm 105:19)

God’s Word is our test — whether we will believe it and act on it, or not. Actually, all of this life is a test. In Matthew 25:14-30, Jesus told a parable to explain this truth. We are being prepared for a great future!

Learning and growth involves testing. Testing lets you know how you are doing. If you are not doing so well, turn to your Father, ask Him for help. Spend more time in His Word and in prayer.

Remember He isn’t trying to bust you and destroy you. Heaven’s no! He is on your side. He sent His Word, His Holy Spirit, His angels, and His ministers to help you. So there is no reason you should lose heart and become disgruntled. You have been called to stand tall and proud that your Father gave His Son, so you could come into His Home.

Doulos Studies

(I send out messages like this each morning in emails, and if you are interested in receiving them, send me your email address and I will add you to the list: Mail List)

I do thank you for your generous gifts.
It is your faithful and continued support that makes these messages possible.

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