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Is This a Test?

May 27, 2014 by

Pen & Paper

In the last few weeks, there have been several financial needs that have all seemed to occur one right after the other. You know the expression, “When it rains, it pours.”

I can hear my Pastor’s voice in my head. He says that when he finds himself in this type of situation, he asks God,Is this a test?”

My best girlfriend tells me that when people ask her what I am like, her reply is, “She’s just like me, except that she’s an overachiever.” I was surprised when she told me this because I don’t see myself as an overachiever at all. Over the years I have seen how I can have those tendencies at times, but when it comes to the thought that God may be testing me, I can tell you I want to obtain major overachiever status on that one! There are three reasons I feel this way.

First, Christ hung on a cross and died for my sins so that I would be forgiven, have a restored relationship with God, and have eternal life in Him. (John 3:16)

The idea of this is just too huge for my tiny brain to fully comprehend, but I want to spend my life trying. Knowing that He was willing to do that for Me fills me with the desire to give back to Him. Please don’t misunderstand me. I know I don’t have to work to earn my salvation. None of us do. It is a gift. (Ephesians 2:8-9) It was finished on the cross. Nothing we do, or don’t do, will ever make Him love us more than He already does at this very moment. Therefore, I want my life to pour forth thanks for that gift. I want to make Him proud. I want an A+ on my test!

This leads me to the second reason reason; I desire nothing more out of life than to hear my Savior say, “Well done, my good and faithful servant.” That is the reward I am striving for. Any earthly goal or dream I may have for my life pales in comparison. I want to not only pass the test, but ace it because I long so much to hear Him speak these words to me. (Matthew 25:21)

Thirdly, people are watching. I have heard it said that more is caught than taught. People are watching to see if we really practice what we preach. When we teach our children, encourage our friends, share the Gospel; whatever the case may be, we are being watched. This is why Jesus said, in Matthew 5:16, “…let your light shine before others that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.”

You see, my default mode when the sky seems to be falling is to start asking questions like: Why does this keep happening to us?  How are we going to pay for all of this? What if…..? 

I’m really asking the wrong questions. Those questions lead to worry, fear, and stress. They pull me away from communion with my Savior because I am telling Him that I don’t really trust Him. (Matthew 6:25-34)

Instead, I should be asking, Is this a test? That question challenges and inspires me because I know that I can choose to ace the test by letting my light shine so that God can be glorified. It puts me in a position of having some control over my circumstances rather than feeling like a victim of them.

Let me clarify here that this is not always an easy thing to do. Honestly, my financial struggles sometimes feel huge to me, but I do realize that some of you are dealing with matters of much greater severity. I am not undermining your pain in any way. I am simply making a case that when we change the way we see our circumstances, it can have a great effect on not only how we feel about them, but how we respond to them. It’s not easy, and we can’t do it on our own. The good news is that we have a Savior who can help us (Hebrews 4:14-16). The question is, are we willing to choose to give Him our storms so that His light can shine through them, no matter how dark things seem?

Dear Heavenly Father, You know that this world isn’t easy for us. You already know the challenges we will face and how we will respond to them. Lord, I pray that you would give us, by Your power, the ability to put our problems into Your loving hands rather than trying to control them in our own strength. Help us to remember that people are watching and listening. Oh, Lord, that You would be glorified as we allow our lights to shine in the darkness that seems to control this world. Help us to remember that You have overcome the world! Let the truth of that statement overshadow any storm we may be facing. Thank you, Lord, that we can rest in You. In the precious name of Jesus, we pray. Amen. 

*See Psalm 26:2, James 1:2-3, and James 1:12.

Twitter-20x20Tweet this: “Lord that you would help us to put our problems into Your loving hands.”

Check out these great reminders herehere, and here.

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Leave a comment below and share with us how you cope during a trial, test, or storm.

4 Responses to Is This a Test?

  1. Rick

    Thank you for this beautiful post. Reminded me, as well as yesterday’s post, of that well meaning phrase that people tell you when you are going through a storm, “It will be ok, God will not give you more than you can handle.” I believe that comes from 1 cor 10:13 where Paul is talking about trials and God’s promise of a way of escape. The correct way to state this would be, “It will be ok, God will not give you more than He can handle.” This puts the emphasis back on Him so we can learn to rest in His arms. If you read the verse just before 1cor 10:13, it sets up the why for us. Then we can come to him when we are weary and find our rest in Him!

    • Heather

      Very good point. That verse say that “God is faithful”, not that we are able in our own strength. “He” provides the boundaries and the way of escape. It all goes back to Him, doesn’t it? Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

  2. Tobi

    Love this so much! “Nothing we do, or don’t do, will ever make Him love us more than He already does at this very moment. Therefore, I want my life to pour forth thanks for that gift.” We serve such an amazing God, thanks for reminding me. 🙂

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