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JFH Devotionals by J.M. Farro

God's Purpose In Testing Us

Remember how the Lord your God led you all the way in the desert these forty years, to humble you and to test you in order to know what was in your heart, whether or not you would keep his commands... He gave you manna to eat in the desert, something your fathers had never known, to humble and to test you so that in the end it might go well with you.

- Deuteronomy 8:2,16 NIV

If you tell some Christians that you believe God tests us sometimes, they get mad. Yet if you read enough of the Bible, you can't deny that it's true. The above verses are abundantly clear. God tested the Israelites in the wilderness to humble them and to find out what was in their hearts, whether they would obey Him or not. In verse 16, the Lord reveals His purpose, "so that in the end it might go well with you." God doesn't test us because He's mean and sadistic. He tests us because He loves us and He knows that trials can stretch us and make us grow. Why is the Lord so interested in our spiritual growth? There are probably many reasons, but a few I can think of offhand are that He can bless us more, we can be a greater blessing to others, and God can use us more for His glory. If we look at Job, some might say that it was Satan that did the testing, and technically, they'd be right. But it's also true that it was God who allowed Job to be tested. God was convinced that His servant would be faithful to Him no matter what, and He was right. And though Job was already "the greatest man among all the people of the East," the Lord rewarded Job with even greater blessings after his test than before.

Abraham was another man whom God loved and tested. Hebrews 11:17 says, "By faith Abraham, when God tested him, offered Isaac as a sacrifice." Like Job, Abraham remained faithful to God in good times and bad, and the Lord kept His promise to "bless him and make his name great." If you study the lives of the people of the Bible, you discover that the ones God blessed and used the most were often the ones He tested the most. And many times, the greatest tests came right before the greatest blessings. Maybe you feel like you're in the desert of testing right now. Perhaps God wants to use you in a special way, and He is calling you to a higher level of faith and obedience. Instead of resisting the stretching pain of your trials, if you'll settle down and determine to pass the test by walking in obedience to God, not only will your faith become stronger, but God will reward you somehow. He may give you greater responsibilities or opportunities. He may bless you with more prosperity or with new social contacts. Rest assured that when God allows you to undergo tests and trials, it's because He loves you and wants to bless you. I pray the next time you travel through the desert of testing, your declaration of faith will be the same as Job's--"When he has tested me, I will come forth as gold"! (Job 23:10)

Prayer: Lord, though I don't fully understand why You allow us to go through tests and trials, I believe with all my heart that You are good and that You love me. Help me to pass my tests with a good attitude so that You can bless me the way You want to, and so that You can use me for Your glory. Thank You for the rewards You have in store for me!

- J. M. Farro


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