Words We Prefer Not to Hear: “Test” February 05 2016
Maybe you were one of those unusual students who liked taking tests in school, but that is certainly not the norm. Pop quizzes were the worst. I still remember the collective groan in class each time a pop quiz was announced.
There are a lot of what we perceive to be pop quizzes in life as well. Often, we are caught off-guard, even though God reminds us in I Peter 4:12, 13: “Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal among you, which comes upon you for your testing as though some strange thing were happening to you; but to the degree that you share the sufferings of Christ, keep on rejoicing, so that also at the revelation of His glory you may rejoice with exaltation.”
As much as we may not look forward to tests and trials, God reminds us of how much they are to be expected as a part of life. Not only that, but we can rejoice in what God is doing in our lives as a result of the trials, similar to the way in which Jesus suffered as part of God’s plan for bringing forgiveness to a lost world.
This does not mean that we say “Yippee, another trial!” It does not mean that we enjoy going through that trial. There is a big difference between “enjoy” and “have joy in.” Hebrews 12:2 describes how Jesus thought of trials: “who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame ….” He did not enjoy the cross, but looked beyond the trial to the joy set before Him of being reunited with the Father. Looking beyond the trial to our relationship with the Lord is powerful hope for those going through difficult times.
What if there were no tests in school? What if products were not tested before they were sold? Testing is essential and, in life, the Lord wants us see tests and trials as part of the process of becoming more spiritually mature.
There is a lot more that can be said about this topic, but rather than say it here, let me direct you to something we already have on our BCF website. We have a Bible study booklet called “Living Victoriously in the Battles of Life.” It is a seven-session booklet designed for small group or individual Bible study, with a focus on how God uses tests, trials, and problems in our lives and how we can biblically respond to them. If you go to the following link, you can download Lesson 2, which is titled: “What Does the Bible Say About Tests, Temptations, and Problems?”
We encourage you to download the lesson and go through it on your own. Or you can order the complete Living Victoriously booklet through BCF’s website from that same web page. If you want to use it for a small group, you can also order the Leader’s Guide. If you need general information about BCF, you can access our home page at www.bcfministries.org. If you have questions about this or other blog posts, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. You may also subscribe to the blog by emailing that address and put “Subscribe to blog” in the subject line.