This is only a test… if this had been an actual emergency, blah blah, blah. I can’t remember what comes next, but I distinctly remember the sound of that blaring tone announcing the test of the Emergency Broadcast System from the early days of television.
So often lately I’ve been seeing so many people commenting on God’s testing of them. We are all supposed to view these troubles as some great test that we need to pass. In fact, on Facebook I’m seeing it every time I scroll down my newsfeed, over and over again… a picture someone has made to share, and it’s getting passed around like hotcakes… here is what it says, “When you are going through something hard, and wonder where God is, remember the Teacher is always quiet during the test.” Let me share a little secret with you… that saying and that picture makes me want to scream and rip my hair out! Mostly because I know, by the amount of times I’m seeing it, that there are many people buying into that rubbish!
It sounds, at least on the surface, like such a cutesy little saying, and I’m sure it’s meant to bring encouragement to those who are suffering. But it doesn’t, does it? Who among us could possibly be encouraged to think that this great suffering and pain comes directly from our God? And more importantly, it doesn’t line up with what scripture tells us about our Father in Heaven.
Let’s look at a few verses together.
James 1:13 says, “And remember, when you are being tempted, do not say, “God is tempting me.” God is never tempted to do wrong, and he never tempts anyone else.”
We learn in an earlier verse of that same chapter (verse 5), “If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking.”
And finally, we read, “The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure.” – 1 Corinthians 10:13
I ask you, do any of those sound like a God who sends in the tortuous test to possibly break us, and then sits back in silence to simply observe what we will do? The answer is No! I tell you that this is just the kind of lie that the father of lies would love for us to embrace as truth!! In fact, the verse in 1 Corinthians reveals that God does not give us no more than we can bear, but He allows no more than we can bear. Do you see the difference? Our troubles do not stem from our Lord’s making!
Will we be tested in this world? Certainly! Are we told that the various tests and trials that we fall into can produce good fruit in our lives? (James 1:3, 12) Yes! But these tests do not originate with our Father! Do you hear that? They do not! The tests we take on, the trials we endure are a result of our own desires (if a sin temptation), a simple twist of fate (as is the terminology), or a direct attack from our spiritual enemy!
God has already rescued us from the ultimate fear, and He now waits for us to ask for His aid in defeating what is tempting us to doubt Him! That doubt, that lack of faith, is a temptation to fall into sin and discouragement. The discouragement becomes a crack, which becomes a fissure, which develops quickly into a gaping maw that threatens to swallow us up into darkness. Does that sound like a challenge the Lord would send you? No! It sounds like it comes from exactly where it DOES come from. Do not be fooled, sweet friends.
Dear Lord, help us to recognize Your true nature. Forgive us when we misunderstand in our desperate times. We want to cling to You. Thank You for never allowing more than we can bear. In Jesus’ Name, Amen…
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