Many times in our lives, we will go through tests. These situations often bring hardship and struggle to our lives and it is all done with a purpose: to test our faith and devotion to our Lord Jesus.
This is not to say that every situation is a test put on by God, nor that every bad situation occurs because God wants to see us suffer. Sometimes life does happen and bad times come, and even if God didn’t directly cause it to happen, it can still be used to test our faith. What can we learn from these tests? How do we overcome them? Let’s look into God’s words for answers.
We don’t have to turn many pages in the Bible to find the first test of humans. It occurs in Genesis chapter 3 where the first humans, Adam and Eve are being tested by a crafty serpent. They end up disobeying the voice of God and therefore bringing sin into the world. God did not purposefully bring on this test to make them fail. The serpent came to them, and the humans failed the test. They did not stay faithful and thus began a long line of failing tests.
Another failed test we can see is with the story of Abraham and Sarai. Even in their old age, God has promised both of them a son of their own. Distrusting and probably growing impatient, Sarai tells Abraham to sleep with the servant Hagar to make God’s plan become reality. Well, this was another failed test. They did not obey the voice of the Lord and did not believe Him. Now, they still ended up with their promised son Isaac, but they still failed the test of waiting for God to deliver.
On and on, story after story, we can see humans failing tests and being unfaithful to their God. That pattern ends with Jesus. In Matthew 4, Jesus is tested three different times by Satan, and each time Jesus resists and passes the test. Jesus quotes from Deuteronomy each time, signaling to us that God’s word is something we can go to help us get through a test. Jesus also prayed in the garden of Gethsemane during the heart of his test. He was burdened and sorrowful, about to die, and the only thing he knew to do was pray. What a wonderful thing to do in time of need and testing is to pray.
In 1 Peter 4:12-13, Peter reminds his audience to rejoice because of the sufferings. We rejoice because we know we are suffering in the name of Jesus. Tests in this life can be painful and unbearable. What we need to remember is that we share in Christ’s sufferings, and that His Word and Spirit are within us to help us until the end.