Testing. A word that most of us do not relate to in a positive way because it means undergoing duress. In school we had tests to check our knowledge of a topic. In gym we were tested to check our health and stamina (at least during my years in school that was the case). We all take the driver’s test before we can drive alone to make sure we know the rules of the road. Testing like that is to keep us safe.
Another word for testing is trial. Webster’s Dictionary defines trial as “the action or process of trying or putting to the proof : TEST.” No one person likes to go through trials in life. They are difficult. They often test us to our limits and beyond. We often don’t even understand why we are being allowed to go through it. Trials come on individuals, families, and even nations as a whole.
God uses trials quite often to strengthen us, wean us, separate us, and determine our full love for Him. Why? Because God loves us. That sounds like the antithesis of what a loving God would do to people. However, God knows it is trials that either bring us closer to Him or drive us from Him. Think of Simon who was told he would go through a difficult time but that he would return stronger and solid in his faith.
And the Lord said, “Simon, Simon! Indeed, Satan has asked for you, that he may sift [you] as wheat. But I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail; and when you have returned to [Me], strengthen your brethren.”[Luk 22:31-32 NKJV]
Right now we can see God using adverse times in our nation to identify the remnant church. Last year, and even this year, we have been seeing lawlessness, deceit and apostasy. So much of the church has gone silent or is falling for the worldly view of Christ Jesus and church. By allowing our nation to go through the unthinkable, God is separating the wheat from the tares.
‘Let both grow together until the harvest, and at the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, “First gather together the tares and bind them in bundles to burn them, but gather the wheat into my barn.” ‘ ”[Mat 13:30 NKJV]
It has been difficult to see the separation occur. We have seen those who still seek after worldly things to fill the sadness and deal with fear. Others of us have turned to God and have become closer to Him because of the duress. Seeing evil have its way in the world has taken many of us to the edge, but we know that God – in His timing – will have His way.
But, O LORD of hosts, You who judge righteously, Testing the mind and the heart, Let me see Your vengeance on them, For to You I have revealed my cause.[Jer 11:20 NKJV]
This season of testing on our nation is extreme, yet, it is needed. God knew He needed to find those who find their strength in Him and who stand for truth.
Sometimes we may even wonder how we will make it through the day. But God! And, we worship!
My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience.[Jas 1:2-3 NKJV]
When Trials Come – Keith & Kristyn Getty
Each day we see our nation, and loved ones, enduring testing. We know you are in control of everything, but we know you allow duress to happen to bring us closer to you. You laugh at the plans of those governing. You laugh at the plans of man because you have the ultimate say. Lord, we love you. Lord, we want to seek your face and do your will. Each day when we wake give us instruction on how to face the fire and trials. You never give us more than we can handle with you. Help us remember that it is You who will get us through. Strengthen us so we can help strengthen others, Lord. In you we trust, Lord. In you we put our lives.
In Jesus Name, Amen.