Weekly Sabbath Survey
This Is A Test — 6-8-13
Have you ever wondered why you have gone through some of the adverse circumstances you have experienced in life? We don’t hear a lot these days about God testing us, trying us, proving us. Most Scriptures on this subject are found in the Old Testament. Because many of us have been led to believe that because everything changed with the New Testament, we are free to ignore any or even ALL of the Old Testament. Big Mistake.
Some of us see the Bible as ONE book, made up of many books. We accept that it was written by people who had divine inspiration. According to Paul (2 Timothy 3:16-17) the whole Old Testament is ALL useful for instruction in righteousness. It is a history of God the Almighty YHVH, King of the Universe, and His relationship with the human race in general and His own chosen people (Jews and Christians) in particular, starting ‘In the beginning’ and going into the future. We don’t regard anything in the Book as irrelevant. It is a Book to be understood and obeyed, given to us by a God who is to be obeyed. It is the explanation of life and how to live it well. It contains all we need to know for a godly life on Earth and an eternal life in the heavens. Whatever God did with the Jews of the Bible, He is still be doing in some form or the other with His people today. Somebody once said, the Bible is Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth. B-I-B-L-E.
So, back to the question of why we go through what we do. This quote kind of jumps out at me as one of the answers to that:
You shall remember all the way which the Lord thy God led you those forty years, to
humble you and to try you, to know whether you will keep His commandments or not.
God is our teacher, so it follows that we should have tests to see how well we are learning. Since He knows each of us from before we were born, the purpose of the test is to show US how we are doing, more than it is for Him to gain that information. I often think of the little tweet we used to hear on TV from time to time, then a voice saying, This is a test, it is only a test. In the hour of testing, I have made that my confession many times, “This is a test. It is only a test.”
The Father also sends us challenges. These are not tests or trials, but opportunities to come up higher. A time to stretch ourselves past what we have attained. Training jumping horses, the bar is set low at first. once the horse learns he can jump over it, the trainer raises it up in small increments over time, as the horse gains confidence to go higher. It is not the trainer’s purpose to make the horse fail. The same with God. If He didn’t think we could run that far or jump that high, He wouldn’t send the challenge. He knows our potential and wants to help us to know it as well.
Think of military boot camp. They run, climb, jump and do strength training. No one starts out excelling, but they keep going, pushing hard, and come out of this Basic Training ready for the job ahead. In the military and in life, there are occasional field trials or times of going over what we already know, just to keep us on our toes. Once, the prophet was impatient with circumstances and complaining to the Lord. The Lord answered, “If you can’t run with foot soldiers, how will you run with men on horseback?” (Jeremiah 12:5)
The battle is tough and the enemy formidable, but in the Lord it is our destiny to exceed and excel against all foes, human and spiritual. Nobody gets the best of us for very long. When the Devil sends Kryptonite* — the Father sends Jesus!!!
Many of my friends and I are at the stage now where health issues are our biggest enemy a lot of the time. But we fight back and refuse to let ailments and diseases define who we are. While we indulge the doctors, we pray for healing. While we pray for healing, we keep on pressing into the Kingdom and doing what we can for the sake of the Gospel. We cannot be defeated and we will not quit!
My brothers, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing this: that the trying of your faith works patience. So let patience have her perfect work so that you will be perfect and complete, lacking nothing. James 1:2-3
Charlene Reams Manning
Believer in the Lord Jesus Messiah
*The only substance in the Universe that can make Superman weak.
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