Job 23:10 But he knows the way that I take; when he has tested me, I will come forth as gold
I Cor 3:13 his work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each man’s work.
I Peter 1:7 These have come so that your faith–of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire–may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.
James 1:2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance
All of the products that that we use and enjoy in our daily lives from our computers, our microwaves, our flat irons, our vehicles — everything had to undergo multiple, strenuous tests for quality, reliability, safety and performance before it could even be put onto the market for us to purchase and use.
We all know that it is standard procedure to be tested throughout our educational process in order to move to the next level or graduate. We are given some type of examination to establish whether or not we know the subject, the depth of our knowledge of the subject and how well we can demonstrate proficiency in a testing environment without any notes or outside assistance.
Doctors who perform brain and heart surgeries undergo a very strenuous educational process with many, many tests and residency experience in order to establish their expertise, knowledge and ability to work on humans. We would not want it any other way when it comes to our bodies.
Public infrastructures such as bridges, streets, and dams undergo civil engineering tests to establish the soundness of design, construction, safety and workability. The reliability of these structures are very important to the backbone of society and the daily lives of millions of people.
A test can be defined is a procedure intended to establish the quality, performance, or reliability of something, especially before it is taken into widespread use. It can also be defined as an event or situation that reveals the strength or quality of someone or something by putting them under strain.
As believers, we can expect to be tested multiple times on our faith and our ability to persevere under difficult circumstances. We are called to imitate Christ. We are called to be the Light in a very dark world. We are called to look and act different from everyone else when we are going through things. We should shine in the midst of troubled times when everyone else is falling apart. We cannot effectively do this if we look and act like the world when we are going through.
For those of us with gifts and callings that have the potential to influence many lives for Christ, we will surely be put to the test. God cannot afford to have us on display to the world without us being tested and re-tested first. Otherwise, we will malfunction, cause damage others and bring shame to the Name of Christ. Our reliability as Christians must be tested before He puts us into widespread use in his Kingdom. Our strength must be tested and the only way to do that is to put us under strain. Then God can see (and we can see) what our weaknesses are, what we need to work on and also where we are strong. Undergoing testing is the only way to know this.
Faith is not real faith unless it is actually used in real life, hard situations. It is easy to say you have faith when all is well. It is easy to say that God will supply all my needs according to His riches in Glory in Christ Jesus when your bills are paid and you have some money in your savings account (Philippians 4:19). It is easy to say that God has not given to me spirit of fear but of power, love and a sound mind, when all is well in your life and relationships (2 Timothy 1:7).
The real test of your quality, consistency and authenticity as a true Christian is when something happens contrary to what you expect or believe and you still maintain that positive confession. Under stress and duress when it appears that God is not helping you, you still manage to do what is right when you feel very wrong. While undergoing the test, you still keep a smile on your face and treat people right when all hell is breaking out in your own life. You still manage to get up, take care of your family, go to work, serve in church, all the while hurting on the inside. Yet, you still are able to genuinely praise God. This is what passing the test looks like.
Sadly, many of us who claim to know Christ Jesus, fail our tests miserably and wonder why God does not use our gifts in service in a mighty way. How can we be fit for service if we keep failing the basic tests over and over again? Can we be trusted in hard circumstances to act like Christ? Can we be relied upon to the do the right thing when no one is looking? Will we actually obey the word as given to us in Philippians to be anxious for nothing when circumstances get very uncomfortable (Philippians 4:6)?
We are tested not only to be used more effectively in the Kingdom of God, but for our very own benefit as well. Repeated testing increases our endurance — our staying power in the midst of trouble. Testing improves and strengthens our ability to wait patiently for deliverance without tripping up and sinning. Being tested grows us up. It makes us more mature and seasoned believers. After we have undergone tests, we note in hindsight that the same things that messed us up before in a particular situation no longer faze us anymore. We then realized that we actually passed that particular test. Sometimes after testing, we quickly see where we fall short and it is very humbling. Tests force us to dig deeper and seek God all the more. We would not do so if everything was wonderful all the time.
We must face the fact that we are living in the end times. The love of many will wax cold. Evil will become more rampant. Natural disasters and many unforeseen and unimaginable things are on the horizon for this world. As Christians, we are called upon now more than ever before to start passing the tests we face right now, because there is more coming down the pipeline. We cannot afford to let our emotions take over, make bad decisions in the heat of the moment, and letting our guard down by giving place to the Enemy. Too much is at stake.
Passing these tests are critical for the future development and growth of the Kingdom of God. For those of us who are called to be Kingdom entrepreneurs, writers, ministers, teachers and other diverse callings, we should have already passed some major tests. Even now, as we well into the first month of the New Year, no doubt we have already been tested on what we planned to achieve for 2014. We may as well get used to being tested. At every level, there will some sort of test. The key to passing is to remember why we are being tested, who is watching us when we are tested and to have faith and hold on for the ultimate testimony on the other side of the test. The world is watching us every time we test. What will they see when you test?