I thought that ad for a cellular company several years ago was a clever one. That phrase was everywhere for a while.
Who of us has never picked up a microphone and said, “Testing. Testing”?
The Bible speaks a lot about testing. Joseph tested his brothers before revealing himself to them in Egypt. (Gen 43-45) Jesus told Peter to get out of the boat and walk to him, testing Peter’s faith. (Matt 14) Psalm 11 tells us God’s “eyelids test the sons of men. The Lord tests the righteous…”
Why so much testing? (I sound like an Ohio public school teacher… and I was) Does God depend on the results of his tests to know where we stand with him?
That’s ridiculous. God already knows our hearts.
Testing, for us, has become about the test-giver. Results tell the DMV who is ready to drive a car. A math test is given so the teacher can assign a grade. But more than that, testing reveals to the test-taker what they know and how much more they can learn.
When God tests the righteous, it’s so we can know where we stand, we can identify our weaknesses, go to him and confess sin.
Do you feel you are undergoing a test from God himself? Maybe God is showing you a strength you didn’t know you had, or a weakness he’s able to strengthen, or a sin you need to confess. Maybe he wants you to know that you really do have faith in him, that you can do all things through Jesus, that you are more than a conqueror, that his promises are true.
No testing is pleasant. But the results can be life changing. Joseph discovered his brothers had truly changed in the years since they sold him into slavery. His brothers learned that they really could be faithful to their father. All of Jacob’s family learned that God can bring about good from anything Satan tries to use for evil. Peter learned he did have faith in Jesus and could walk on water in a storm. He also learned his faith wasn’t perfect.
So, what have you learned through your own times of testing?
Father, I hate tests. I hated taking tests and, as the person in charge of state testing in the middle school where I worked, I hated giving tests. So it feels kind of weird to thank you for the tests you throw my way. May I accept each test as a gift from you to encourage me, to prompt me to action, to learn more about you and walk closer to you. And, yes, may I thank you for testing me so I can know where I stand. May I use the results of those test to allow you to mold me into the woman you would have me be.