Monthly Archives: July 2015

Testing Time

Baby Elephant First Steps

Baby Elephant First Steps

TESTING TIME

Anyone who has been following my “Nuggets” for any length of time will probably think that my journey of following God’s call has been far from easy!

Let me assure you I do not see it in that light or feel that way, not even for one minute. Every rocky path, every precipice crossed and every valley of weeping represent to me God’s eternal love for me!

Now I know this sounds crazy because the world’s view of a “good life” is one that is filled with prosperity, success and good health.  So if I were to measure the events of my life by the world’s standards it has been an “impoverished life”, yet it is quite the opposite!

How can I say this with such conviction of heart? I can say this without fear of contradiction because of the teaching I have learned in God’s Word! As a child of God, His Word should be the only “blue print” that we follow for our life’s journey; so consider what the Apostle James says concerning times of testing:

James 1:2-4 (NKJV) My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.

Testing……………………this certainly does not evoke warm, fuzzy images of happiness, to mind! If we are true to ourselves, most of us dread taking tests!

I remember with clarity the day in Salisbury, Rhodesia, when I took my driver test on a stick shift car, at the age of 28 years. Yes I was a late bloomer!

When the official sat in the passenger seat and instructed me what streets through the city of Salisbury I would be driving, I felt all my courage draining from my trembling body.  I knew the route he had chosen was one of the most congested and could be a “bear” to even a seasoned driver!  I slipped the car into drive and edged my way into the “teeth of my test”. The more I successfully passed each new challenge of my driving skills that he threw at me, the more my confidence grew. By the time we pulled into Vehicle Testing parking lot I knew I had passed with flying colors.  What had happened? The testing of my driving skills had made me stronger and more confident that I now could take on more difficult challenges!

Have you noticed how much easier it is to see faith tested in others than in yourself?

How much easier it is to stand with others in their difficulties than to stand in your own?

Let me assure you none of us are exempt and inevitably the time comes when it is our turn to face the challenges and tests of life. So my next question is: How do we react when God tests our faith, and when trusting Him seems to be the last thing that we want to do?

It is at such times that we need to remember two key promises from God’s word.

The FIRST promise is that God tests us, not because He DOESN’T love us, but because He DOES!

Trials and tests prove that ‘God is treating us as His children’.

Hebrews 12:7 (NKJV) says: “If you endure chastening, God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom a father does not chasten?”

God wants us to grow—and to grow up! Just as the strongest Oak trees are the ones that as young saplings grew in the face of the buffeting storms thus putting strong roots down that cause them to become increasingly stronger with each new raging storm.

So too, God wants us to grow during the times of testing by putting our roots ever deeper into Him.

The SECOND promise is that God won’t test us beyond what we can bear.

1 Corinthians 10:13 (NKJV)” No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.”

Take Abraham of old……… being asked to offer up his son wasn’t the only test of Abraham’s faith, but it was certainly the most stretching! Yet because Abraham had trusted God over many years, he was now ready for such a test.

God’s tests are always appropriate to the stage where we are at in our journey of faith; He never stretches us beyond what He knows we can carry.

So my friends; if you are going through a difficult, challenging and testing time at this moment remember these two promises.

First, God tests us, not because He DOESN’T love us, but because He DOES!

Secondly, God won’t test us beyond what we can bear.

I simply have to close this Nugget with the words of this comforting hymn written by Civilla D. Martin in 1904 – God will take Care of You.

Be not dismayed whate’er betide,

God will take care of you;

Beneath His wings of love abide,

God will take care of you.

Through days of toil when heart doth fail,

God will take care of you;

When dangers fierce your path assail,

God will take care of you.

All you may need He will provide,

God will take care of you;

Nothing you ask will be denied,

God will take care of you.

No matter what may be the test,

God will take care of you;

Lean, weary one, upon His breast,

God will take care of you.

God will take care of you,

Through every day, o’er all the way;

He will take care of you,

God will take care of you.