Friday, July 27, 2007

Being Tested

by Donna L. Watkins

© 2006 Donna L. Watkins - Deer At Our Pond
The word "test" has never been very popular. All through school we had tests that made us study hard and made us nervous before, during and after we took them. As a Christian we are also tested but we don't like to think of God as somebody that's sending evil our way because it would not be true. God loves us and does us good in all circumstances of life, if we will allow Him to. Many times our free will puts up a wall before the Lord and it is without a doorway into our heart.

Many times in life we will have to fight the enemy daily to keep him from destroying and stealing your dreams and desires. He is a thief and will steal every blessing God sends your way. He'll discourage you to give up praying for your family and he'll take away your calling, purpose and future if you listen to him.

The trials in life offer us tests and the higher the grade we earn, the more wisdom, character, joy and peace we will attain. Tests give you opportunity to continue in your vision even when you're in the middle of disappointments and a lot of opposition. The level of attack often means the level of blessing you will receive if you persevere.

God never takes us beyond what we can bear (I Corinthians 10:13 says, "There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it."

This is testing as permitted and controlled by God to produce sterling character that is a reflection of His own. Consider Malachi 3:3: "He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver." And this Author Unknown segment from the internet:

This verse puzzled some women in a Bible study and they wondered what this statement meant about the character and nature of God. One of the women offered to find out the process of refining silver and get back to the group at their next Bible Study.

That week, the woman called a silversmith and made an appointment to watch him at work. She didn't mention anything about the reason for her interest beyond her curiosity about the process of refining silver.

As she watched the silversmith, he held a piece of silver over the fire and let it heat up. He explained that in refining silver, one needed to hold the silver in the middle of the fire where the flames were hottest as to burn away all the impurities.

The woman thought about God holding us in such a hot spot then she thought again about the verse that says: "He sits as a refiner and purifier of silver."

She asked the silversmith if it was true that he had to sit there in front of the fire the whole time the silver was being refined.

The man answered that yes, he not only had to sit there holding the silver, but he had to keep his eyes on the silver the entire time it was in the fire. If the silver was left a moment too long in the flames, it would be destroyed.

The woman was silent for a moment. Then she asked the silversmith, "How do you know when the silver is fully refined?" He smiled at her and answered, "Oh, that's easy - when I see my image in it."

We learn a lot about God and ourselves when we're in trouble and some lessons are learned no other way. Adversity should draw us closer to Him, but some choose to tun away when they don't have it their way.

Submit your troubles to God and let Him choose the way out and the timing. That means giving up control. That is one of the biggest lessons we all need to learn in life since letting go of control requires us to walk by faith and not by sight.

If you're in the melting spoon, remember that God is closely watching you and is there to provide a way of escape at the right moment and in the process you will become more like Him. That will make people want to be more like you! Isn't that the greatest compliment of life?

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