Psalm 11:4-5; Proverbs 17:3 – The Lord is in his holy temple; the Lord’s throne is in heaven; his eyes see, his eyelids test the children of man. The Lord tests the righteous, but his soul hates the wicked and the one who loves violence. The crucible is for silver, and the furnace is for gold, and the Lord tests hearts
THEME OF THE DAY. THE TESTED CHRISTIAN. A faith untested and untried is a faith which must not be trusted. It will fail every time the storms of life come. It will not stand the crashing waves of tough circumstances. It is of sand, not the solid rock of Christ and His Word, and will be washed away at the first sign of difficulty. And to ensure we have the type of faith which holds during trying times, God tests us. He tries His children with intense and severe tests. He told us so – “Behold, I have refined you, but not as silver; I have tried you in the furnace of affliction” (Isaiah 48:10). So, when life is “hot” and the trials scorching, don’t see them as signs of God’s anger or displeasure. They are just the opposite. They are signs of His favor as He builds within us a faith which can be trusted.
When it comes to the testing of our faith, what is God doing? Yes, He is refining it, but also other things. James tells us we are tested to build patience (James 1:2-4). And who doesn’t need that? We live in a culture of impatience. Two little things in life affirm this truth. People get impatient when a website takes too long to load. People get impatient in traffic. Just watch people stuck in traffic. I have witnessed a lot of impatience, even in the guy I see in the mirror. Now don’t dismiss these trivial things revealing our impatience. It is the little things in life which tell us much about our spiritual condition. Remember the Word of our Lord, “He who is faithful in little things, will also be in big things” (Matthew 25:21). We often learn more life-altering spiritual lessons through the ordinary and small things in life than the extraordinary things and events in life. But the testing of our faith goes beyond growing patience. God tests us to develop things within us more important. Three of these things are found in a man severely tested, Abraham, when God called him to sacrifice his only son, Isaac. The riveting account is in Genesis 22. Please read it soon as we identify three areas of testing God brought into Abraham’s life and will also bring in our lives to prove and develop our faith.
First, there is the testing of our attachment. Abraham was called to give up the most precious of gifts given to him by God; a family member, and an only son no less. Put ourselves in his shoes. Do we think Abraham struggled? Absolutely. Think he slept good the night before? But here is the lesson and one we must get. God simply will not be second in our affections. We cannot put anything or anyone above Him when it comes to our loyalty, attachment, and affections. God wasn’t being cruel to Abraham. He loved him and called him His friend. This test proved the reality and genuine quality of Abraham’s faith. Not even a family member, a dear family member, would be placed above God in his heart. The same applies to us. We will be tested to see who has the supreme place in our heart; God or something/someone else. And He will allow no rivals.
A second area of testing is close to the first with a little twist. Abraham was tested in the area of priorities. He was called to obey God. Now. Today. No delay. He was told to sacrifice his son. No praying; no pondering. Friends, any delay of known commands is disobedience. God is worthy and demands swift obedience to His commands, even when we don’t understand what He is doing. Abraham’s faith was proved by his swiftness to obey God, regardless of its personal cost to him. We, too, must be tested to see if our faith is real by our obedience to God as our highest priority in life.
Final area of testing is in the area of resolve. I wonder if Abraham had second thoughts as he climbed the mountain and stared at his soon-to-be sacrificed son? I wonder if he didn’t consider turning back? True faith perseveres. It won’t turn back. It is resolved to obey at all cost. Take heed to James’ words, “A double-minded man is unstable in all his ways” (James 1:8). An on again, off again Christian is immature in the faith and God loves us too much to leave us on again off again Christians. He will test us to make us resolved Christians who obey Him without delay or question. Such a life builds a faith that can be trusted. As God tests our faith, rest confidently in what He is doing. It is for His glory and our good.
PRAYER: “Father, help me to see the tests You send to try my faith will be tests I pass to build my faith.”
QUOTE: A faith untested and untried is a faith that cannot be tested. It will fail in every tough circumstance”