DOES God “test”us?
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. – Deuteronomy 8:2
David sought God’s testing asking Him to examine his heart and mind and see that they are true to Him:
Test me, Lord, and try me,
examine my heart and my mind; – Psalms 26:2
Search me, God, and know my heart;
test me and know my anxious thoughts. – Psalms 139:23
Abraham was tested to see if he would obey. The result – to show that he IS the father of the faith!
Therefore, the promise comes by faith, so that it may be by grace and may be guaranteed to all Abraham’s offspring—not only to those who are of the law but also to those who have the faith of Abraham. He is the father of us all. – Romans 4:16
By faith Abraham, when God tested him, offered Isaac as a sacrifice. He who had embraced the promises was about to sacrifice his one and only son, – Hebrews 11:17
In both the Old and New Testaments, the translated meaning of the word “test” is – to prove by trial.
God needs no proof. But we need to know with confidence that our faith is real – that no trial will overcome our faith.
Jesus talks about this in the parable of the sower. As soon as testing comes along, some who have received the Word in joy, fall away.
This leads me to believe some testing comes from the Lord – because its purpose is to build up faith in the believers. This is why James is saying:
Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, – James 1:2
Testing comes in many ways :
- Small daily irritations – annoying habits of people you live with, unruly kids, noisy neighbors, gossip at work, etc.
- Severe afflictions –
See, I have refined you, though not as silver;
I have tested you in the furnace of affliction.- Isaiah 48:10
3. Attacks from Satan –
So Satan went out from the presence of the Lord and afflicted Job with painful sores from the soles of his feet to the crown of his head. – Job 2:7
Job’s story is proof that Satan’s evil work in us is limited by God’s sovereign control. Our trials work toward God’s perfect purpose – many instances talk about how God will discipline His children.
Testing is of great benefit to the believers.
In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. 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 honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. – 1 Peter 1:6-7
We are more than conquerors through Him in all these things – not in spite of trouble, but because of it. Paul says he is exceedingly joyful in all tribulations. Oswald Chambers says: Undaunted radiance is not built on anything passing, but on the love of God that nothing can alter.
God does not keep us away from trouble. Instead He says He will be with us in trouble. Paul is not talking about imaginary things when he says “we are more than conquerors in all these things”. They are real things. Actual life issues. We are living that experience right now in our Christian life. But as believers, we are victorious always, not because of our own prowess, but because of our relationship with Christ. Isn’t it a sad thing when a Christian says he wishes something unsavory in his circumstances not to be there?
God’s power is made perfect in our weakness.
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 2 Corinthians 12:9
Tribulation, anguish, famine – can they separate us from the love of God? Never.
Oswald Chambers says : “..some extraordinary thing happens to a man who holds on to the love of God when the odds are against God’s character. Logic is silenced in the face of every one of these things. Only one thing can account for it – the Love of God in Christ.
Out of the wreck I rise.