Time Out (by Jerry Schmoyer)
I don’t know if anyone really enjoys testing. It seems the best part about it is the good feeling when it is over even though we all recognize the need for testing. Tests give us an opportunity to show what we know and can do. They are a chance to demonstrate how well we can apply what we have learned. We face testing in all aspects of life: school, college, even getting a drivers’ license, even spiritually as a child of God.
Abraham is a prime example of how God tests us. Actually his whole life can be outlines as a series of tests. Some he passed, others he failed. Then there were retests in areas where he failed, but sometimes he still didn’t pass even on the second round. He had to trust God to leave Ur to go to Canaan (pass), to trust God to take care of him in Canaan despite the famine (fail), trusting God for his finances (pass), patiently waiting for God to provide an heir (fail) and giving his only son Isaac back to God (pass), to name but a few of the more obvious tests.
There is a very important lesson we can learn from Abraham. We, too, face many challenges, disappointments, decisions and obstacles in life. Instead of seeing them as hindrances and threats, we need to see them as opportunities to trust God. If we view each “roadbump” in life, no matter how minor, as a chance to trust and obey God, then we will have a much better attitude to them as well as a far higher success rate. If we see these tests for what they are we can get our eyes off ourselves and what feels best for the moment. Instead we can be reminded of the importance of trusting God and obeying Him in each situation. Try it. Look for tests coming your way today, no matter how little, and see them as opportunities to live and act as Jesus would want you to.
James 1:2-4, “Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”
Deut 13:3, “The Lord your God is testing you to find out whether you love him with all your heart and with all your soul.”
Luke 8:13, “They believe for a while, but in the time of testing they fall away.”
Heb 3:7-8, “Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as you did in the rebellion, during the time of testing in the desert,”
- Think of several of the tests you have already faced in life. Which have you passed? What have you failed?
- Think of tests you are now going through right now. Are you passing or failing them?
- What can you do to pass the current tests in your life?
Jerry Schmoyer has been a minister in Pennsylvania for over 25 years and has worked with teenagers for 14 years, ever since I became one myself. He authors the weekly Time Out series here at Life in Student Ministry in hopes to spiritually refresh your soul as you continually pour so much of yourself into students. God bless!
Posted on October 20, 2008