Mar 19, 2023
This is a test.
James 1: 2- My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into diversE temptations
1 Peter 1:7-That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:
1 Thessalonians 2:4-But as we were allowed of God to be put in trust with the gospel, even so we speak; not as pleasing men, but God, which trieth our hearts.
Matthew 8:10 When Jesus heard it, he marvelled, and said to them that followed, Verily I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel.
2 Corinthians 12:9 And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
Being tested by God has been misunderstood by many. It is clear in the scriptures that God does test us. However, God does not send sickness, disease, or calamity into our lives to test us. Those things steal, kill, and destroy. Jesus is the Good Shepherd who came to give us abundant life.
Being tested by God is a matter of the heart and for a specific purpose. Understanding why God tests us will empower us not only to endure the tests but find joy in them.
What Is Testing
Testing can feel like a negative thing. Have you ever been nervous to take a test in school? But testing isn’t designed to be negative.
How the Cambridge Dictionary defines test is:
1. A way of discovering, by questions or practical activities, what someone knows, or what someone or something can do or is like.
2. A medical examination of part of your body in order to find out how healthy it is or what is happening with it.
3. An act of using something to find out if it is working correctly or how effective it is.
4. A situation that shows how good something is.
How the Bible Defines Test
The Hebrew word translated as “test” in the Old Testament is bachan. It means to “examine, investigate, prove, scrutinize.” “Fire tests the purity of silver and gold, but the LORD tests the heart” (Proverbs 17:3, NLT).
The Greek word translated as “test” in the New Testament is dokimazo. It means to “put to the test, prove, examine, and, by implication, to approve.”
In 1 Thessalonians 2:4, it says, “On the contrary, we speak as those approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel. We are not trying to please people but God, who tests our hearts,” The same Greek word is used for both “approved” and “tests.”
Why We Fear Testing
When we are nervous to be tested it reveals something about us. Either we are unprepared, or we are unaware of what we know. When we’re unprepared we shrink back expecting to fail the test, and fear is a natural response when we’re uncertain of the outcome.
We fear to be tested because we fear a negative outcome, and/or are afraid of why God is doing the testing.
Why God Tests Us
The objective of testing is to discover the truth. In school, it’s to see if we’ve learned what has been taught. There are teachers who make tests exceptionally difficult trying to fail students, and there are those who delight in the success of their students.
God is love and wants us to succeed. When he tests us, he wants to see if our faith in him is real. If we fall short, he takes pleasure in teaching us so we can pass the next time. When our faith proves genuine, he can reward us.
Our faith in God is precious to him. The Bible puts it this way in 1 Peter 1:7,
Your faith will be like gold that has been tested in a fire. And these trials will prove that your faith is worth much more than gold that can be destroyed. They will show that you will be given praise and honor and glory when Jesus Christ returns (CEV).
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 (NIV).
God tests us because he loves us dearly and wants us to grow in grace and in the knowledge of him. This is why the Bible tells us we can rejoice when being tested.
Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing (James 1:1-2, ESV).
God will bless you, if you don't give up when your faith is being tested. He will reward you with a glorious life, just as he rewards everyone who loves him (James 1:12, CEV).
What Does This Mean?
Being tested by God is simply part of the process of becoming more like him. The more we lean into him, the more grace he can pour on us.
How do you know your faith is being tested?
1. Change requires sacrifice –something must die
2. Fear of the unknown
3. Tempted to go back to Egypt
4. Lose your comfort
5. Flesh vs spirit.
How do we pass the test of faith?
1. Seek the Lords guidance
2. Be strong and be of good courage
3. Praise and worship
4. Remember God
5. Trust God
Thank you for listening, downloading and supporting the Speak Life Church and this podcast.
Zelle - pastor@SpeakLifeChurch.net
You can support the ministry by check or money order by sending it to Speak Life Church, 14713 Kent Drive, Upper Marlboro, MD 20772
Rev. Kenn Blanchard