September 22, 2019

Testing Purifies

Written by Boyd Bailey

Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – September 22, 2019 

But he knows the way that I take; when he has tested me, I will come forth as gold.  Job 23:10

Testing purifies, as it brings out our worst and preserves our best. It is not always easy or enjoyable, but it is necessary to stay solid in our faith. Tests come in the form of people we may not understand or have yet to totally appreciate. They may rub us the wrong way. However, this friction is what scrapes away the sin from our soul. God uses people every day to purify our hearts from pride. Tests also come in the form of taking on more responsibility at work. We have never done what we are doing, and we feel inadequate and desperate to learn. This new assignment has us crying out to God for wisdom and discernment. We fail the test if we give up. But if we persevere we will make progress and eventually reach the goal. Tests are not meant to be torture, but a time that we can claim the promises of God. His word is truth, and we are to value it more than our daily bread. Truth is designed as our survival kit during times of testing. 

Truth is terrific because it reminds us of the bigger picture of God’s faithfulness and plan. He allows us to experience difficulty in order to build our dependence on Him. If we lived in a highly controlled environment without crime or crisis, we would still have to live with ourselves. Our envy, lust, and pride are ever looming to snatch away our joy. 

It is imperative that we drink daily from the fountain of God’s Word. The Bible is our baseline for belief and behavior. Indeed, testing brings truth front and center. It turns our focus away from our pain to our hope and provision in the Lord. Understanding and applying truth make testing a blessing. We long for and receive God’s love in the heat of our testing. We are purified so that we can see Him. He is holy God and a humble servant. We see Him clearly in our crisis of faith, as testing turns us toward truth and into the arms of Jesus.

In some sense, your life is one big test, but its intensity is temporary. Sometimes you feel trapped by tests, as they can be smothering and discouraging. Your career transition is a test of whether your security is in prestige or in Christ. You struggle with, “What will people think?” or “Will they believe less in me, because I took a lesser role?” But the truth is, God’s will is always a step up, and this may be a test of your motives. Why do you do what you do? If it is all about you and climbing the ladder of success and financial freedom, then testing is necessary to purify your motives. Adversity brings out what is in your hearts, and that is not always pretty. 

God may be asking you to give up something, so He can give you something better. This test is meant to prepare you for God’s very best. Tests come down to trust. Can God still be trusted during this severe trial? You believe in your head that He can, but your heart needs to commit without reservation. How can you trust Him when circumstances seem to be swirling out of control? You trust Him one day at a time, and you trust Him with the authorities in your life that still have questions and concerns. Testing purifies your faith to a higher level of trust in the Lord. By faith, value this time of testing, and embrace it as an opportunity to be loved by your heavenly Father, for tests turn you to Him. 

“Do not be afraid. God has come to test you, so that the fear of God will be with you to keep you from sinning” (Exodus 20:20).

Prayer

Heavenly Father, help me learn from any tests and trials that come into my life, in Jesus’ name, amen.


Application

What trial may lie ahead that I need to prepare my heart and mind to totally trust God?


Related Reading

Exodus 16:14; Isaiah 48:10; 2 Corinthians 8:22; 1 Peter 1:7, 4:12

Today’s reading is taken from Boyd’s most popular book: Seeking Daily the Heart of God, a 365 day devotional.


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God may be asking you to give up something, so He can give you something better. #WisdomHunters #tests #Jesus


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