September 17, Times of Testing

Today’s reading: Psalms 81-85

“In your distress you called and I rescued you,
I answered you out of a thundercloud; I tested you at
the waters of Meribah” - Psalm 81:7.

What is your concept of a test? If you are like most people, you think of a piece of paper in front of you as an examination to determine how much you know or retained of a school subject. Yet when the Bible mentions a test, it is talking about something totally different. The test God brings is similar to what they did to metals in ancient times. They would submit the metal to intense heat to see if there were impurities or what they called dross in the metal. If the heat revealed no dross, it was considered high quality. Your tests don’t come so God can trick you or found out how much you know (He already knows that). God sends a test to show how far you have come and how effective His work in you has been, as He explained in Deuteronomy 8:2-3:

Remember how the Lord your God led you all the way in the wilderness these forty years, to humble and test you in order to know what was in your heart, whether or not you would keep his commands. He humbled you, causing you to hunger and then feeding you with manna, which neither you nor your ancestors had known, to teach you that man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord.

Are you going through a time of testing? Can you see the positive aspect of that process? Do you realize God may be “showing off” His work in you to the people around you as well as to spiritual powers you cannot see?