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Tested by God

My wife and I enjoy watching British Mystery tv shows. We like the “foreign but familiar” aspect of them. All of them are birthed from the same template. There is always someone that is a respected DI (detective inspector), a team player, but due to the crime, they struggle with leading their team without violating their oath to the crown. The crime puts the DI to the test, but they (almost) always come out successful and honorable.

Tested by God

We know that, from time to time, God tests us. In today’s passage of Scripture, we see the word “tested.” This word means “to test, to investigate.” Like in tv shows, God assigns us to difficult cases, ones that test our moral fiber and faithful obedience while facing insurmountable odds.

10 For you, O God, have tested us;
you have tried us as silver is tried

12 you let men ride over our heads;
we went through fire and through water;
yet you have brought us out to a place of abundance.

Psalms 66:10,12

Tested by God for Our Good

Unlike imaginary tv shows, God’s tests are real and they often tear at our faith as God investigates whether we have true faith or cheap imitations. God investigates us, not for His knowledge, but for ours. His love for us is a motive for His tests. He wants us to know if we are obedient to Him in spite of suffering and loss. Will we be like Jesus or fall back into worldliness? We need to know us.

Good News

A refiner puts silver into immense heat, causing the impurities to leave the silver and flow to the top. There the refiner removes the dross. So, God’s tests often put us into a metaphorical fire. His testing places us under immense fire to bring out our impurities that need to be removed. In the end, if we pass God’s test, He brings us out to a place of abundance. God is so good to us, and that’s good news!

Image by Shutterbug75 from Pixabay

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Failing the test

An old preacher told me many years ago that the test of God does not take place when you’re on the mountain top. It happens when you come down. How right those words are. I have personally experienced this as have so many other Christians both my contemporaries and those recorded in the Bible.

It’s when we’ve had the blessing of God upon us, and we feel strong. That opens a chance for God’s enemy to strike at us. And, there are times when God allows us to be tested for our benefit. If we believe our strength is ours by possession or by some individual channel to God that has come from this mountaintop experience, we will fail. For God’s highest gift from a mountaintop experience is humility.

Jesus, our Lord, humbled Himself and we are not higher than Him. Likewise, when we spiritually come down from the mountain, we must remind ourselves to trust God and not our natural skills. We will struggle during our testing, but we must not fail. We see Hezekiah fail his test after God’s mighty victory over his enemy. Notice what it says in 2 Chronicles 32:30-31, “…He succeeded in everything he undertook. But when envoys were sent by the rulers of Babylon to ask him about the miraculous sign that had occurred in the land, God left him to test him and to know everything that was in his heart.

First, the king had great blessings, including a life-saving miracle, but pride entered into Hezekiah’s heart, and the Lord was not pleased with Hezekiah (2 Chronicles 32:24-25). Notice Hezekiah’s test came right after his mountaintop experience.

We pray for God to touch us, to intervene in our lives, yes, even for miracles, but are we able to stand the test after our time with God on the mountaintop? We must be on guard when God does take us to a special time of prayer, fellowship and miraculous acts. These can easily puff us up. When God’s test comes, let’s pass with flying colors!

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