Have you ever found yourself in the middle of a challenging situation and wondered – how did I get here? Many times I assume that a difficulty is the enemy trying to discourage me, but really it could be a test set up by God for my benefit. I ask for it sometimes when I pray the Psalm – “Search me O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts.” (Psalm 139:23) Everyday I surrender to God and say, He knows what is best. But then when the best thing is for me to be tried and tested through a tough time, I panic.
What have these testing times developed in me? In James, it says it develops perseverance. And perseverance must finish its work so I will be mature and complete, not lacking anything. (James 1:2-4) So trials can pretty much bring about anything and everything that I need. God tests us when we are headed for a blessing so He can see if we are ready for it. A blessing without the testing can be disasterous – just look at the young stars who can’t handle fame or lottery winners who squander all their money. The children of Israel wandered around in the wilderness for forty years because they were not ready for the blessing that God had prepared for them. They were led to the wilderness by God, but they didn’t pass the test! Whoa! Are there things in my life that I’m longing for that I’m not passing the test for?
So if trials and testing are so good for me, why do I dread them so much? Because I need to learn to trust God more. Tests and trials are bearable when our trust in God is high. Trust comes from knowing someone well enough that you can relax when they are in charge. It comes from understanding His purposes are higher and greater than my purposes. And comprehending how deep and how wide His love for me really is. Joyce Meyer writes in her new book – The Secret to True Happiness (the book that spurred these thoughts of mine – chapter 7) – “…don’t forget that trust allows you to enter God’s rest; only in that place can you truly enjoy your life.”
I’m going to enjoy my life – everyday – through the trials and tests because I know they are for my benefit and making me into the person God intends for me to be. I know I’ll not always remember that in the middle of tough stuff, but renewing your mind now helps in the future.