Godís Testing Program



For years the idea of God being in the testing business didnít sit too well with me. That was because I equated testing with punishment. The year snowstorm after snowstorm forced the cancellation of my kidsí high school midterms there was great rejoicing. A dreadful punishment had been averted! In all honesty I thought about God testing us the same way my kids thought about their teachers testing them. Why would God want to punish us this way?

It wasnít until I found myself being tested by God that I began to see the value of it. Now I donít doubt that I had been tested before, but I never recognized it until God spoke to me through the word He spoke to Hezekiah in II Chronicles 32:31 (NIV), "ÖGod left him to test him and to know everything that was in his heart."

What is in my heart anyway? God wants me to know, not to punish me but to "progress" me.

Admittedly it isnít always fun to have to face what is in our hearts. Someone has said "The truth will set you free, but first it will make you miserable!" Godís tests, however, are not just so weíll know the truth about ourselves, but also so weíll be readied to learn the truth about Him. If I learn the truth about myself it will just make me miserable if it isnít accompanied by the truth about Jesus.

The truth is that He took the punishment for the sin that is revealed in my heart.

The truth is that He replaces my weakness with His strength.

The truth is that "Öwhoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what he has done has been done through God" (John 3:21, NIV).

So Iíve come to respect the fact that God tests us. (And am I ever grateful that all His tests are open-Book!)