Testing: Gravel on Destiny’s Path

I can guarantee that you would be out of my counselling room in a thrice, if having listened to a detailed explanation of the difficult challenges you have been undergoing, I take a deep breath and declare “You know you ought to be rejoicing and jubilant that God has allowed this, in fact you should be celebrating”

Yet this is what James tells us. He says when we face trials and temptation we should consider it great joy that we have been short-listed for such treatment. James 1:2. A trial may be understood as any experience we undergo which is so distressing; we begin to wonder if God still sees us. We begin to seriously consider if we should continue as Christians. Our belief in God is tested. A temptation on the other hand is an opportunity which presents itself to us, that if take will result in sin.

How can I then ask you to welcome them? “When trials and temptations call, welcome them like long lost companions.”

Christians throw “pity-parties” at the slightest sign of difficulty or delay in the manifestation of their breakthrough. That is why for instance, we have mangled the song “Today o!” Rather than “when troubles come my way, I will praise the Lord” which is what Wale Adenuga wrote, we prefer “when success comes my way, I will praise the Lord”. Which makes me wonder, do we only praise God when life is rosy? Did Jesus actually promise that we would be exempt from difficulties?

God continually tests people’s character, faith, obedience, love, integrity, and loyalty. Character is both developed and revealed by tests, and all of life is a test. He constantly watches our response to people, problems success, conflict, illness, disappointment, and even the weather!

A very important test says Rick Warren in his book, “The Purpose Driven Life” is how you act when you can’t feel God’s presence in your life. Sometimes God intentionally draws back and we don’t sense his closeness. A king named Hezekiah experienced this test. The Bible says, “God withdrew from Hezekiah in order to test him and to see what was really in his heart” {bible 9}2 Chronicles 32:31{/bible}. Hezekiah had enjoyed a close fellowship with God, but at a crucial point in his life God left him alone to test his character, to reveal a weakness, and to prepare him for more responsibility.

When you understand that life is a test, you realize that nothing is insignificant in your life. Even the smallest incident has significance for your character development. Every day is an important day, and every second is a growth opportunity to deepen your character, to demonstrate love or to depend on God. He further states, “Some tests seem overwhelming, while others you don’t even notice. But all of them have eternal implications.

Trials and temptations build patience. Patience changes the way we look at problems. If you have been going through a situation for six months, there is no way that by the fourth month you would still consider the problem as scary as you did in the first month. Trials build endurance. Just like a long distance running builds up strength in our muscles, a trying period builds our spiritual bones.