Three Tests God Ordains for His People

Knowing that tests are purposeful, we can rest, understanding that the Master is fully in control of both the test and the outcome.

As a teacher, I don’t ask test questions because I need to know the answers. I ask questions because my students need to know the answers. Likewise, God ordains tests for us, not for his sake, but for ours. He ordains tests today just as he did in the Old Testament with the testing of his people, and in the New Testament with the testing of the disciples.

 

Tests are not for the sake of the teacher, but for the benefit of the student.

As a teacher, I don’t ask test questions because I need to know the answers. I ask questions because my students need to know the answers. Likewise, God ordains tests for us, not for his sake, but for ours. He ordains tests today just as he did in the Old Testament with the testing of his people, and in the New Testament with the testing of the disciples.

From those who have gone before us, we find several reasons for tests in Scripture. And knowing that tests are purposeful, we can rest, understanding that the Master is fully in control of both the test and the outcome.

Diagnostic Tests

I remember seeing the eyes of the people around me for the first time in elementary school once I got glasses. I didn’t know I couldn’t see until I took a vision test in fourth grade. My eyesight had gradually weakened, until I thought that blurry faces and faint lines on the chalkboard were normal. That simple diagnostic test revealed an issue I never knew existed.

Just as medical tests reveal our health conditions, God tests us to reveal our spiritual condition, as he did for Israel:

And you shall remember the whole way that the Lord your God has led you these forty years in the wilderness, that he might humble you, testing you to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep his commandments or not. (Deuteronomy 8:2)

Their forty-year test in the wilderness revealed just how easily the Israelites could forget the God who brought them out of Egypt. Likewise, our tests may reveal just how easily we fall back into old patterns of:

  • Gossip
  • Complaining
  • Laziness
  • Lust
  • Pride
  • Anger
  • Selfishness

God tells us that he never tempts us to sin (see James 1:13). The tests we face are not designed to lead us to sin; rather, they reveal the sin that already lurks in our hearts, ready to show itself at any opportunity.

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