When God Tests Us
Thursday, October 26, 2023 by Doreen Wennberg
Have you ever been through a difficult season and wondered, Why God?
Perhaps previous issues you’ve faced, prayed about, and dealt with resurfaced.
Or perhaps a fresh new set of situations blindsided you —relational, financial, or a health crisis you did not see coming.
When we face hardships, unforeseen circumstances, and trials of any kind— it can cause us to question and sometimes doubt ourselves or God.
Could it be that he is testing you?
If your eyes are already rolling, I don’t like tests either. But tests from God are meant to help us—to strengthen our faith, build our character, and refine us for his purposes and glory.
God tests us to prove the genuineness of our faith. (1 Peter 1:7)
If you have been walking with God for any number of years— then you know that the trials he allows us to walk through have a greater purpose.
Several greater purposes God wants to accomplish in testing us.
- Strengthen our faith
- Build our character
- Refine us
Strengthening our faith for spiritual growth.
New Christians begin like babies do—weak and needing to grow stronger. As babies learn to walk, their first steps are wobbly, and obstacles may cause them to stumble and fall. Fear may stop them, but a look towards Mom or Dad may give them confidence, and determination will keep them going.
The greater purpose of trials in our lives help us to grow spiritually.
God uses and allows trials to grow our faith, trust, and our dependence on him.
How does our faith grow? Faith grows when we exercise it and use it.
When faced with a trial (test), we look to God in faith—and trust in him—and his word.
In the home stretch of the last mile of the race, the weak and exhausted runner exercises perseverance to cross the finish line—and you can too! As we learn to depend on God (not self) and persevere through difficulties, we grow stronger in our faith.
Building our character with integrity.
Character and integrity are important in God’s eyes. God calls Christians to a higher standard. We are to live differently than people who follow the world’s ways and are selfish, dishonest, and backstab others to get ahead.
It’s the little things that build our character.
When you return the extra item in your grocery bag—that you didn’t pay for, you could keep it, and no one would know, no one but God.
When you treat the rude person with kindness instead of responding rudely back. When you choose not to chatter (gossip) along with the rest about so and so, God sees.
We put our best foot forward in front of others, but how we treat others at home matters too—and God sees.
And no, we won’t do it perfectly, and we will mess up, but God knows our hearts and hears our apologies.
God is always looking for us to be faithful in the little things, for when we are—we will be faithful in the big ones (Luke 16:10).
Refining us for God’s purposes and glory.
God refines our faith to purify it. It is always to purify from sin, to make us more like him.
Many places in the bible talk about God’s refining fire. In Malachi 3:3 it says, “He will sit like a refiner of silver, burning away the dross. He will purify the Levites, refining them like gold and silver, so that they may once again offer acceptable sacrifices to the LORD.”
When metal goes in the fire, impurities are removed, and the reflection of the metal shines through. When God purifies us through the fires of trials, his reflection in our lives becomes clearer to those around us.
Zechariah speaks of the remnant that God will put into the fire and refine them like silver and test them like gold (Zechariah 13:9a).
Such a beautiful picture of refining the believer to make them more like Christ. It is always through the hardships of trials that we are refined and learn obedience.
So even though we may dread tests from God, Peter reminds us to be truly glad. He says there is wonderful joy ahead, even though you must endure many trials for a little while. This is where these trials will show our faith is genuine. (1 Peter 1:6-7 NLT).
Thank you for the tests that help us to see that our faith is genuine. Forgive us when we doubt you. Thank you that you desire to grow our faith and make us more like you. Though we know the process is hard at times, you’re producing something that’s of great worth in your sight. Help us to pass the tests, and help us yield to the process so that our lives will bring you much glory and honor. ~In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
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