Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.- James 1:2-4
While attending grade school especially during my high school years, if there were ever an opportunity that I could get my hands on the answers to a quiz or test, I would certainly take advantage of this fortuity. Now, I can just imagine seeing several halos appearing above some of your heads that you had never done the same in the right circumstances. It is in our sinful nature to always take shortcuts, be lazy and slothful, in order to lighten our load of responsibility.
Working in education now for fifteen years, I have witnessed on more than one occasion, students which have also attempted to take the “easy way out” instead of adequately preparing themselves by studying prior to the given assessment or test.
So what are tests designed for anyway?
By definition, A standard test is any form of test that requires all test takers to answer the same questions, or a selection of questions from common bank of questions, in the same way, and that is scored in a “standard” or consistent manner, which makes it possible to compare the relative performance of individual students or groups of students.
Now while this is true in the natural, it is not a complete valid assumption in the spirit. For one reason, although we are all created and designed by the same Creator, the test(s) He gives me, will be completely different due to our individuality and given set of circumstances that occur in our lives. Yes, as believers, we are all one body, joined together by One Spirit, one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all, but each are individual members of this Body. (Ephesians 4:4-6)
2 Timothy 2:15 says that we should “Study to show ourselves approved unto God, a workman that doesn’t need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” The keys to successfully passing the tests that God allows you and I to go through, is to stay in His Word, trusting Him with His Word, and also walking in an awareness of His presence in our daily lives that He will see us through. Psalm 23:4 says “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.” Too often, believers will choose to set up camp in that “valley” instead of allowing God to lead them through it. It is not God’s intention for us to become fearful, anxious, and lose our peace while walking through these valleys of testing but this is what happens when people try to find answers and solutions in their time of testing outside of God’s will. They will turn to Google, self help books, alcohol, drugs, other opinions, instead of seeking the One that has all the answers in an effort to “cheat” their way out of allowing God to perfect their faith and see them through.
In both the Old and New Testaments, the words translated “test” mean “to prove by trial.” Therefore, when God tests His children, His purpose is to prove that our faith is real. Not that God needs to prove it to Himself since He knows all things, but He is proving to us that our faith is real, that we are truly His children, and that no trial will overcome our faith. When we experience these times of testing, we should be like the tree that digs its roots ever more deeply for a greater grip in the earth. We must “dig our roots” more deeply into God’s Word and cling to His promises so we can weather whatever storms come against us.
Lastly, and most comforting of all, we know that God will never allow us to be tested beyond what we are able to handle by His power. His grace is sufficient for us, and His power is made perfect in our weakness (2 Corinthians 12:9).
My friend be encouraged today that , you can Pass the Test!
Right on Brother ! I can back this up with my own bout through 2 cancers.
You certainly have brother! To God be the Glory. Hope you and Thomasine are doing well. 🙂
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You have reminded me of how I have tried to “cheat” my way through God’s testing. It never works. It normally adds more to the test. God often gives the test before the lesson, and I am continually reminded how I must be still and know that He is sovereign and will make me stronger.