God’s Testing

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Have you ever watched an athlete go through his or her training routine? By the end, all the strength in that athlete’s body is spent. Covered in sweat, veins bulging, and panting for breath, that athlete appears to an untrained eye as a fool that has inflicted, for no apparent reason, suffering upon his or her body, but we know better.

Success in athletics only comes through consistent, rigorous training. Only when an athlete builds muscle memory can that person compete and win. The same is true for every believer in Christ Jesus.

18 Since he himself [Jesus] has gone through suffering and testing, he is able to help us when we are being tested.

Hebrews 2:18

As for testing, I am confident that if you are a believer, you have been tested many times. Every believer is tested regularly. Temptation is not how God tests people; He never tempts anyone.

Just like an athlete, we are tested by obstacles and resistance and by the absence of each. Finances, health, family, and purity are all areas of our lives that place our will against our “wants.” Sometimes these cause us great physical, mental, and spiritual suffering. And sometimes, the reactions we should have must come faster than we can consider them. We may speak before we think. So, it’s important to train ourselves to ensure that we don’t regret what we say. We must have trained ourselves to be ready to speak Jesus instantly.

Often, our opportunities are only a hair’s breadth1 from passing. Without training, without muscle memory, we may fail God’s test.

Good News

Here is the good news.

For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin.” – Hebrews 4:15

Jesus understands “what makes us tick.” He can sympathize with us, and “Since he himself has gone through suffering and testing, he is able to help us when we are being tested.” I’d call that good news!

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[1]: To perform an action by a hair’s breadth means doing it by a very close margin. This phrase has been around since the 15th century to show the exaggeration of winning, losing, or escaping closely. – Grammarist, https://grammarist.com/eggcorns/hairs-breadth/

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