We study for tests. We want to be prepared. We want to do well. You cram for final exams. You memorize for the driver’s license test. When you know the test is coming, you can get ready.
But some tests are sneaky. You don’t even know you are being tested. Your boss may give you an impossible task, just to see how you will respond. Could you make the impossible deadline? Your parents let you stay home alone to see how you handle the responsibility. Did you trash the house with 50 of your closest friends? These sneaky tests reveal what’s really inside of you.
The Bible (and all literature) is full of people who were being tested. Would Cain resist anger’s demands, or would he kill his brother? Would Abraham and Sarah trust God to give them a son, even though they were so old? Would Abraham trust God and follow his order to sacrifice Isaac? Would David conquer his lust or commit adultery? Would Peter acknowledge his friendship with Jesus?
All the major Bible characters were tested. We read their stories and watch them struggle. How could they be so blind? How could they not see God’s loving protection? How could they be so short-sighted? These were God’s sneaky tests for them. If they had known it was a test, they could have prepared themselves. They could have faced the circumstances from the standpoint of faith. They could have chosen to seek God’s direction and to listen to his voice.
Recently I realized that my life is a series of tests of my faith. The same goes for you. These don't have to be sneaky tests, because now we know God is watching. Will I cave in to my fears or will I trust God to take care of me? It’s all a test—every misunderstanding, disappointment, unmet expectation, broken promise, harsh word, failed attempt, accident, sickness. How will I respond?
Then again, good things are tests—every opportunity, success, happy coincidence, friendship, resource, kind word, healthy report, smiling face, met goal. How will I respond?
When I read the tragic stories, I want to tell the characters, “Don’t do it! Can't you see what’s really happening?” Now I know that I am that character. These tests reveal what's really inside of me.
God grant me the grace to trust you through the test!