Fresh Hope – 2nd January 2019

A test – ‘a procedure intended to establish the quality, performance, or reliability of something, especially before it is taken into widespread use’.

I remember when I finally went for my driving test. It had been a long road to get to this point. I had taken 28 driving lessons, just in an automatic, at 55 dollars a pop. It was time for the final test before I could be issued with my license and have independence on the road. This test was the chance to prove myself. I needed to demonstrate my knowledge, skills and capabilities. If I failed the test, I wasn’t ready for the road. It wouldn’t be safe for me or anyone else if I were on the road having failed! Good news is that I passed my test, and finally got to enjoy the freedom and responsibility of being an independent road user!

Did you know that God tests us? He isn’t testing us to judge us or cause us to trip. He tests us to see what is really going on in our hearts and the real strength of our faith. It is a test of capacity. Can we handle more? Are we reliable? Are we quality? Ready for greater use?

In both the Old and New Testaments, the word “test” translated means, ‘to prove by trial’. Trial doesn’t sound fun, but it was actually something that mature believers hungered for. They knew a test would result in maturity and greater depths in God. James saw testing as a blessing! Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials … so that you may be mature and complete’ (James 1:2, 4). David asked to be tested too. In Psalm 26:2 he said, ‘Prove me, O Lord, and try me; test my heart and my mind’.

God tested the Israelites, by exposing them to trials in the wilderness (Deuteronomy 8:2). If our faith is weak, it may not be obvious when life is going smoothly. Sometimes it takes the pressure of a trial, or test, to see what we are truly made of. Tough times will show our faith for what it really is.

God is all-knowing. He knows exactly what we are made of and where we are at already. So why test us? Because He wants to expose us to ourselves. He wants us to recognise our weaknesses not for judgment, but rather for greater reliance on Him.

Life is constantly presenting us with opportunities that test us – small trials and big trials that expose what we are truly made of. God wants to expose us to our heart response under pressure. Are we ready to handle more responsibility, blessing and greater influence? Be aware that God is watching for your response. He wants to take us into the next great thing, but are we ready?

Emma Burchell

A daily devotion for a better way of living.