Thursday, June 16, 2016

Does God Test Us?

God tells us repeatedly in His Word that He will tests His people.  Just like in school, a test is to determine if we have learned what we should, and ready for the next assignment.  It is like being interviewed constantly by God for the next “job assignment.” 

Check out a few of the many verses that speak of God testing His people:
Ex. 15:25 the Lord made for them a statute, and a rule, and there He tested them
Dt 8:2  these forty years in the wilderness, that he might humble you, testing you to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep his commandments or not. 
Dt 13:3 For the LORD your God is testing you, to know whether you love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul.
Ps. 11:5  The LORD tests the righteous
Isa. 48:10  I have tested you in the furnace of affliction.
1 Thess. 2:4  God who tests our hearts.
James 1:3  for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness.

I think a “test” is slightly different than a “trial.”  A trial is the normal hardships of living in a fallen world, but a test is a direct challenge that God brings into our lives to see if we will trust and obey Him, no matter what!

He may test us with a flat tire.  He may test us with marital conflict. He may test us with a rebellious child.  He may test us with a difficult boss. Nothing enters our life that has not been sifted through His loving and sovereign hand.  Joseph said of all his many hardships, “what you meant for evil, God meant for good, for the saving of many lives” (Gen. 50:20).

However the test may come, He wants us to “add to our faith, moral excellence, and to moral excellence, knowledge, and to knowledge, self-control, and to self-control, perseverance, and to perseverance …… and if these qualities are yours and increasing, they will render you neither unfruitful nor unproductive….” (2 Pe. 1:5-8).

If we pass the test, God will advance us in the kingdom.  He will advance us in character, knowledge of Him, and usefulness for His glory.  We are more qualified for eternal fruitfulness as we pass the tests His puts before us. 

However, if we fail the test, we either have to take the test over, or we get demoted.  Though God will never kick us off His team, He may “bench” us for a season.  We can learn from our failures and demonstrate we are ready to get back on the field.

No test is much fun, but after you pass it, you will be so thankful for how God used it in your life and took you to new heights in Him!

I want to pass every test He sovereignly brings my way.  How about you?  We cannot pass the tests in our flesh, but rather we must be continually filled with His Spirit and do this in His power (Eph. 5:18) and with the help and support of His people (1 Cor. 12).

For more on testing (i.e., purpose of tests, biblical characters who were tested, and how to pass a test), check out my sermon on this at: