What is a past experience where you can see now that God was testing you?
So many come to mind for me. I look back and see where God was testing me in patience, trust, and obedience. These were all hard lessons to learn in the moment, but I needed every single one of them. I can also tell you that it took more than once to learn them and often I need a reminder lesson.
Here is what I have realized: we are always being tested. This develops character. Our response to everything; people, success, problems, disappointment, etc, is always being watched by God. He watches everything, even the simple gestures.
One of the most important tests we are put through is how we act when we can’t feel God as close. We are no less or greater than Hezekiah, “However, when ambassadors arrived from Babylon to ask about the remarkable events that had taken place in the land, God withdrew from Hezekiah in order to test him and to see what was really in his heart.” (2 Chronicles 32:31, NLT)
Character is tested when we are left alone for a time. Mind you, we are never left alone, it just feels that way. God will use this time to reveal weaknesses that we may not have seen and to prepare us for more responsibility. Understanding that life is a test and nothing is insignificant in your life makes this time easier to walk through. Challenges can be faced head on and endurance grows.
Good news: God wants us to pass all the tests of life. Because He is rooting for us, He never allows them to be greater than the grace He gives you to handle them. “The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure.” (1 Corinthians 10:13, NLT)
Trust. We have to learn to trust God. Not just with the “yes” but with the “no”.
God has entrusted us with every gift of Spirit and possession. He has entrusted our relationships, time, intelligence, and all resources to us. Psalm 24:1, “The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it. The world and all its people belong to him.” (NLT)
This means that we don’t own anything. We are just trusted to take care of it and do it well. The Bible gives us some questions to think about in 1 Corinthians 4:7, “What do you have that the God hasn’t given you? And if all you have is from God, why boast as though you have accomplished something on your own?” (NLT)
Ouch! Makes you think of all those things you took credit for that really never would have happened if God did not allow or give you the means to do. As Christians, we do all things through Christ who gives us strength and ability, knowledge, money, etc.
God trusts us with all that is His and we have to make sure we are able to prove that we can be trusted. This is why we are tested. Tested to be trusted. (1 Corinthians 4:2)
Think about this: If you lived as if everything you “own” is really just on loan from God, how would that change the way you feel or treat your possessions?
Until next time,