“Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as his children.” (Hebrews 12:7) “No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.” (Hebrews 12:11)
I recently read this quote in Streams in the Desert devotional:
“When God wants to make a person, He puts him into some storm. The history of humankind has always been rough and rugged. No one is complete until he has been out into the surge of the storm and has found the glorious fulfillment of the prayer ‘O God, take me, break me, make me.'”
How true this is! Think for a moment about nearly every product that we use in our society. They all have been “put to the test” before they are released for us to be able to use. Without the tests, they are not useful. The risk is too high. Our cars are put through multiple crash tests, our microwave ovens are tested for safety, even the water that runs through the faucet has gone through many tests before we drink it. Imagine where we would be if the medications we take were never tested before being prescribed to us.
If you knew that the things in your life had not been tested. . . would you trust them? Would they be useful to you?
Are we precious to our Lord in any state? Yes. He loves us just the way we are. But ponder this for a moment: how can we blossom and become the person He desire us to be so that we can impact others as well as glorify Him? If those around you know you have been put to the test, and you still turn towards the Lord, are you more trustworthy to believe when you share your faith? Though your relationship with Jesus could be strong and enduring, if no one ever saw you put to the test, would they trust what you were saying about that relationship as being authentic and trustworthy?
We also must be put to the test. You may have heard the saying, “you have to have the test, to have a testimony.” Tests are not easy.
In school we can prepare for the tests, study, take notes and be disciplined in our habits so that we can perform as well as possible. In life it is a bit more difficult. We never know what exactly the test will be that we will face.
Yet we can still prepare. We can study the Word, take notes on the people we admire and how they make choices, and we can be disciplined in how we live our life. When the tests come, having a relationship with Christ will make the tests much more bearable to cope with as we go through the challenge.
Prayer: Lord, I am sure being tested! Sometimes I feel like life is one big week of finals over and over. But I know You have a purpose for it all and I hope that I can continue to turn to You to learn from this test so that I can be a tool for You to show people who You are and the salvation You give us.
About the Author:
Lisa Copen is an author, speaker, and the founder of Rest Ministries which serves the chronically ill. She lives in San Diego with her husband and 8-year-old son. She is currently writing a book for Christian moms who live with chronic illness. If you are interested in sharing your stories, feedback and confessions for the book, visit her Facebook page at http://MomWithIllness.com .
You can now read this on your Kindle. Find out more at http://TodaysDevotionOnKindle.com
How does it make you feel to know that no test you go through is ever wasted? Does it help knowing that God has a plan for it all?