Monday, October 19, 2009

Why God IS Testing You

Why God IS Testing You
September 14, 2009
James 1:3 "because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance."

What are you struggling with right now? I bet there is something, the first thing that comes to mind. Right now, as you read these words, you have a struggle in your life, a difficulty, or a situation that you would like changed. You may not have created the situation, but you sure would like it to go away. Well, I got news for you; it CAN go away, but first you have to pass a test. It isn't a test in school, where you get a grade, never having to take the test again. No, it is more like a stretch, versus a test, a stretch that must occur often, AND you have to learn from it. If you learn from it, you will never struggle with it again.

Consider a bow and arrow. The bow consists of the actual bow and a string. That string must be tested before it can be used for hunting or a competition. You wouldn't put a brand new string on a bow and intend it for use on a hunt or in a game, without pulling it back a few times, maybe shooting a few practice arrows to break in the new string or to ensure its manufactured integrity. If it has never been tested, how can you expect to get full performance out of it in the time of need? What if there was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and you had one shot, one time to pull the string back on that bow? What if you had never tested it's integrity? What if you pulled back on that bow and the string unraveled, rendering it useless, and your once-in-a-lifetime opportunity--gone?

Consider a first baseman in a Major League Baseball game. In the game of his lifetime, does he reach for a brand new glove that has never been worn? No, he reaches for the glove that has been tested and proven, time and time again.

Consider an elite runner, in the race of his lifetime. Does he trust that his muscles were warmed up and stretched yesterday or does he stretch them afresh, just before his big race? He stretches his muscles anew, warming them up, running a few practice jaunts, before each and every big race. He must ensure their integrity, to live up to the performance demanded of him.

Christian, God is testing you, but not to see if you are going to fail. He knows how you will respond each and every time; He knows how successful you will be and how you will handle it. He tests you to show YOU how you will respond. He wants you to be aware of your response to the situation, giving you the opportunity to be satisfied with the results or improve for the event of a lifetime. You never know when that event of a lifetime will occur, but if you aren't tested, how will you know how you will respond?

If you are struggling with the same thing, over and over again, chances are, you aren't fully tested, ready for use. If you struggle with your patience every day, then you aren't fully tested, you might fail when the time of importance comes. The daily tests of your patience are the opportunity to learn from your un-successes, and improve. If you aren't improving, then you aren't paying attention, and you aren't getting it. Let me say that again, if your patience isn't improving, then you ain't gettin' it. Likewise, with what you are struggling with right now, if you aren't learning from it, responding differently, responding better than last time, then you aren't fully tested in it. If you aren't fully tested, when the time of importance comes, you will fail. It is in these tests, that practice makes perfect. When you get it down, you won't struggle with it anymore, in fact, you won't even notice it. Start paying attention and start learning. It will make your whole life soooo much easier.

1. What are you struggling with?
2. How are you responding to that struggle?
3. Are you learning from it, to respond differently the next time?

Add. Scriptures for Study: Gen 22:1, Job 23:10, Psalm 66:10, Is 48:10, Rom 16:10, 1 Tim 3:10

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