How do we respond to tests?

Posted: May 29, 2015 in Genesis, TLCC
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When God tests us, it is for our character development. God will not let any difficulty come into our lives beyond what we can handle. (See 1 Cor. 10:13)

I normally study for an exam the day of the exam itself. I am more effective when the pressure is real. Growing older, I realized that I could do better if I could have time to really study the exam. There are exams that come as a surprise, and that what gets into my nerves. I would rely on stuck knowledge (or stock knowledge for the geeks) to get me through. What is surprising is we keep on practicing the disciplines in studying, when exams come, we are ready.

For Abraham to be tested, it was written for us to be able to glean on and learn. Our responses is what is important. Our attitude towards trials or testings is what is seen. This is what we can tell others, of how we went through a situation and how God showed a way out.

The question is, how do we respond to tests?

Read: Genesis 22:1-19; Hebrews 11:17-19

#1 God allows His children to go through tests.

In Genesis 22, the chapter opens with “GOD TESTED ABRAHAM”. All throughout Scriptures, there would be moments when God would put His children to test. Talk about Job, and how he lost everything as part of his test. Or how about Joseph, when he was being shaped by God as he was sold as a slave, and a lot more examples through the Bible.

The implication is this. As a child of God, we will be placed into a test. For some, it is the test of adversity. For others, it is the test of prosperity. Whatever test it would be, there will be tests for us.

Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds – James 1:2

#2 God requires what we value most

Back to the story of Abraham, God required that Abraham give up Isaac, the promised heir. It was a test of who does Abraham love more, the gift or the giver? It was a test of giving up what was promised. It was a test of surrendering what He valued the most.

God does not have any rivals. Anything that we value more than God, that is our idol. Our list should be the one on the right, not the one on the left…

list001

(taken from Francis Chan: You and Me Forever, p.31)

And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. (Matthew 22:37-38)

For Abraham, this was a reality. He obeyed without delay. The question with us is this…

Is this a reality to us? Do we really love God with our all? God requires what is valuable, not the leftovers. Abraham obeyed. There was no argument recorded, or a battle of wills with God. He obeyed.

#3 God indeed provides.

The word “provide” in Hebrew is translated as “to see; or to perceive”. In other words, Abraham was telling Isaac, “God will see for himself the lamb for a burnt offering”. God does not tell us to do something unless He has a plan in mind. We just have to learn how to obey by faith.

Abraham obeyed and God provided. It was not the other way around. It was not God provided then Abraham obeyed. Many of us are like that. We would want God to provide first before we obey. We want God to move first before we follow.

In terms of discipleship, how many of us would obey the command “GO AND MAKE DISCIPLES” before we ask God to provide for the discipleship, or the small group, or the one to one. It takes faith to go, and we go. Then we wait on God to provide. He will see us through. It’s not the other way around.

#4 When God promises something, He will make it happen.

This is important in our faith. Abraham believed to a point that he believed that God can raise Isaac back from the dead (Hebrews 11:17-19). God can.

We have to find ourselves in that situation in learning how to trust God. We have been listening to too many lies of the world about the impossibility of the situation that we forget who God is. We have to trust.

God allows us to undergo tests in order for us to know Him. He allows us to undergo these things so that we will be patient in adversity, and thankful in prosperity.

What is your response when the trials come? Can you withstand the test of poverty? How about the test of prosperity?

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  1. […] How do we respond to tests? […]

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