Evangelist and brother-in-law of Dr Billy Graham, Dr Leighton Ford once said,
“God loves us the way we are, but too much to leave us that way”.
The Bible clearly reveals how God worked in the lives of individuals in order to enable them to grow in Spiritual maturity. The low points of life that they experienced were God designed tests to teach them lessons that they would not have learnt in any other way. Thus it is out of deep love for us and His desire that we should grow, that God often provides opportunities to demonstrate our commitment to Him and to grow in maturity. This morning our thought for reflection is, “God Takes Us Through Tests To Help Us To Grow In Our Relationship With Him."
“And it came to pass after these things, that God did test Abraham”
The phrase, “And it came to pass after these things” reveal that Abraham had been on a spiritual journey with God. In that journey, full of tests, Abraham experienced both successes as well as failures. Abraham’s failures helped him to realize his own weaknesses and his successes helped him to grow more in His knowledge of God. Just as every temptation from the devil is to destroy our commitment to God and integrity, every test that God permits in our lives is to strengthen us and help us to grow in spiritual maturity. We need to keep in mind two important aspect of our God who “tests” us.
1. God knows when to test us.
The incident recorded in Genesis 22 can be considered as the climax of God’s ongoing interaction with Abraham. God tested Abraham when He first asked him to leave his own people and to go the country that he would show him (Genesis 12:1-3). He later tested him by delaying the fulfillment of his promise to make him the father of many nations (Genesis 17:5). God did not test Abraham severely until He was sure that Abraham was prepared to face it. When God realized that Abraham was ready to wholeheartedly trust Him as his Eternal God, God brought His test to the highest level. Satan will attack us when we are off guard but not our God. Are we questioning God, thinking that He is testing us without knowing if we are prepared to face it or not?
2. God knows how to help us to pass the tests.
All of us would have experienced teachers who would like to give surprise tests. Some teachers would even ask questions from topics they would not even have covered during their lectures. But our God is one who prepares us for his “spiritual tests” appropriately and even assists us by giving special grace and wisdom to face the tests. Knowing very well that Apostle Paul was well equipped to face any test in his life, God took him through very difficult tests. But He said to him,
“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weaknesses”
(2 Corinthians 12:8).
Have we forgotten the grace and strength of God that has been sustaining us during our times of tests and weaknesses?
Our God knows our strengths and weaknesses. Our God wants us to grow in our relationship with Him. Let us not conclude that our God does not understand our tests and trials. He knows when to allow us to face a test and how to help us to successfully go through the test. His grace would be sufficient to us when we face tests throughout our life. With that faith let's begin this day!