Several years ago I had a very wise and discerning friend encourage me to look at challenging situations as a “test”….by God. If you look at the definition of a test…the end result is a grade.
Sometimes a grade is a pass/fail or a win/loss or it can be a number grade like a 100 or 98 or 88, or 72 or a 50….depending on what you are testing or grading. Our daughter, Collins, has been elated in college to get an 80 on a statistics test while Brewer, who is gifted in numbers, would think only a 90 or above was a great grade.
In golf a grade in a tournament involves not so much looking at the test in terms of win/loss….sometimes it is great to have finished 10th. Many don’t win week after week. In golf just making cuts sometimes can mean to you a great grade on a test…depending on the context of the situation.
In life…most adversity or challenging situations or even situations of success can be seen as a test. If you are a Christ follower, some things, if not many things, that happen in life can be a test by God to reveal where we are in our relationship with Him or show us where we need to work on things He teaches in scripture. Take a look at John 6:5, “When Jesus looked up and saw a great crowd coming toward him, he said to Philip, ‘Where shall we buy bread for these people to eat?’ He asked this only to TEST him, for he ALREADY had in MIND what he was going to do.” [emphasis mine]
As you read on you see that Jesus performed a miracle in feeding 5,000 people plus had baskets of food left over. The passage picks up in John 6:14, “After the people saw the miraculous sign that Jesus did, they began to say, ‘Surely this is the Prophet who is to come into the world.’ Jesus, knowing that they intended to come and make him king by force, withdrew again to a mountain by himself.”………This is a powerful true story during a time, if you read in the book of John, of Jesus performing many miracles and presenting many tests to the people.
I love it…it speaks volumes to us as Christians not only about the power of Jesus but of His character……many tests in our lives come not only to grow our faith and strengthen us but to demonstrate to us Christ and His divine nature…His sovereignty in our lives and His power to cause all things to work for good.
Many times in my life…I now, with age and growing wisdom, can see the tests in my life…some grades have been wins and some not so much. Some have been in the 80’s which I consider a good grade. Two years before it would have been a 50. Context really dictates the satisfaction level of the grade on a test.
I have been intentionally seeking to work on things in my life due to tests that God has placed in my life to make me very aware I NEEDED IMPROVEMENT. One being allowing God to lead me and not man, what I call “people pleasing.” Four years ago, my grade was a failing one…..today? I think it would be in the 90’s! Through some very adverse circumstances God has done a new thing in me….all because of TESTs that HE and HE alone allowed in my life!
What adverse circumstances are you facing? Have you ever thought that the dilemma you are in or whatever you are facing was allowed by God to:
I encourage you to do as I have done….realize that God’s character has not changed… He is the same yesterday, today and forever….Hebrews 13:8, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” HE still uses and allows tests in our lives…..He uses those tests for our GREATER GOOD…we just have to step back and realize through prayer and seeking Him that His desire is to do a “Good work!”
Philippians 1:6, “And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.”
Now and only now can I look back and be truly thankful for His tests…for in the test…I saw God!