I’ve often wondered about “tests” by God. Some religions believe that God “tests the hearts of men” to see if they will be true to Him. I always had a problem with that. God is omniscient; He knows everything, all the time. He knows…all at the same time… the past, present and future. He knows the thoughts and intents of men’s hearts. He knows the beginning from the end. So- He knows our hearts better than we do. He doesn’t just “read” our minds. He knows what we are going to think, before the thought comes into our head! So my conclusion is the “testing” isn’t for His benefit, so He can find something out about us. I think the trials and tests help US to discover things about HIM, (and ourselves). 1 Peter 1:7 says, “These trials are only to test your faith, to see whether or not it is strong and pure. It is being tested as fire tests gold and purifies it-and your faith is far more precious to God than mere gold; so if your faith remains strong after being tried in the test tube of fiery trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day of his return.” God knows how much faith I have, so this scripture is telling me that these trials are to show me how much faith I have, or don’t have.
Each trial I have gone through has taught me more about the Father. Coming through financial problems showed me how much He wants to provide for me. When I stumble, I find out how much He loves me and that He is quick to forgive. When I come through an illness, I know Him as Healer. I am so glad that God is NOT grading my “tests”! Just think if He was like a school teacher. I used to give grades to my pupils to determine their grasp or their understanding of the subject, whether or not they have paid attention in class, studied their information, and their effort put forth. If they have done well and mastered the information I give them an “A”! If they didn’t make the effort, or didn’t pay attention, refused to read the information that I presented to them, they earn a lower score, sometimes an “F” for FAIL. God gives us what is known as a “Pass/Fail”. Even if we haven’t really paid attention (in church, or to the Holy Spirit), even if we don’t read our information (God’s Word), even if we don’t study (Pray in tongues, or praying at all) as much as we should, we can still “Pass” the test. Of course some people do fail. They forsake God and turn back to the world for answers.
I love taking Tests in the natural, always have. Love to learn new things. But in the spiritual, if I got to vote, I’d say no to tests. If God had been giving me letter grades, based on my performance, I believe they would have been maybe some “B’s”, several “C’s” and unfortunately a lot “D’s”! I’ve never failed. Praise God for His patience and grace! But I’ve never earned an “A”. Talk about an embarrassing report card! But these tests have “purified” me, helped me to draw closer to Him. To rely on God. I have learned how important it is to listen, pray and read the word. Not as busy work, or as an obligation, but as a way of getting more intimate with God. So…am I “counting it all joy” as James said? Well maybe not all the time, sometimes I just get frustrated. But I am getting better. I won’t be asking God to test me, but when He does, I WILL be paying attention!