July 30, 2013
READ: Deuteronomy 8:1-5
Fire tests the purity of silver and gold, but the Lord tests the heart (Proverbs 17:3).
We live in an age of testing. The food we eat, the medicine we take and the toys our children play with have all been rigorously tested before being sold to us. This helps us to be assured of their safety, quality, functionality, usability and reliability.
Because of their unbelief and disobedience, God forced the Israelites to spend 40 years wandering in the desert (Numbers 14:29-35). He didn’t abandon them but protected and provided for them during their lengthy journey (Exodus 13:21-22, 16:35; Deuteronomy 8:4, 15-16, 32:10). God put them into an intensive 4 decade ‘training programme’, purposefully leading them into difficult circumstances for three reasons:
• to prove their character, seeing if they truly loved Him with all their heart and soul (8:2, 13:3).
• to test their faithfulness and obedience to God (8:2).
• to teach them the necessity, centrality and sufficiency of God’s Word in their lives (v.3).
The troubles and difficulties you’re going through are part of God’s training programme “for your own good” (vv.5,16). These trials are like final exams in God’s school of discipleship—designed to prove the quality of your faith (Proverbs 17:3; 1 Peter 1:7) and to help you mature in it (Job 23:10; Isaiah 48:10; Romans 5:3-5; James 1:2-4;1 Peter 4:12-13).
It’s normal for us to insist that the things we use must be vigorously tested before they’re sold to us. But sometimes we resist and don’t have a similar acceptance or gratitude for the spiritual tests that come our way. We can even become bitter or angry at God when He allows them to enter our lives. Instead, may we realise that an untested life can’t be trusted.—K.T. Sim
› John 8:21-59
According to Romans 5:3-5, James 1:2-4 and 1 Peter 4:12-13, what’s the value and benefit of being tested?
What test are you going through at this moment? How does knowing that God is the One who is testing you enable and help you to complete and pass the test?