When I was in school I used to dread taking tests. I still do…even a quiz on Facebook can send me into a state of angst. But in school, I was really bad at tests. I could know my subject matter extremely well but something about sitting down and taking a test on it just made my brain turn to mush. The idea of getting that big, red “F” on a paper (yes, we had paper when I was in high school) was just so fear-inducing that my performance was compromised. Yes…tests and I do not play well together so I try to avoid them. TRY being the operative word!
But then I went to college. And when I went to college there was something unique about the tests I was given there. Something that I did not have in high school but wish I had. In college, when I had a test, I got the opportunity (most times) to take it over again. Even if I liked the grade I got the first time, I got to do it again…sometimes up to three times, and the highest grade counted. Wow! That certainly did lessen the stress that came with taking the test, although it did not completely eradicate it. But just knowing that, if I did poorly, I could do it again reduced the terror of test-taking for me.
And then, there is life. And in life, there are some tests I cannot avoid and have no choice but to take. And in life, there are some tests I cannot avoid and have no choice but to take. Click To TweetThere are some that come my way, day by day. These are the tests of my faith. These are tests that are far more important than the ones in school. They may not be graded per se, but I can be kept back by them. However, there is one thing that is different about the tests God gives us. The difference is that with His tests…we cannot fail. The tests God gives us, we don't fail! We get to take it over! Click To TweetLike those tests in college, if I do poorly, I get to do it over. In fact, in most cases, I have no choice but to do it over.
You see…if God gives us a test, for example if He wants to test us in the area of patience because we were silly enough to pray for patience (you know what I am talking about Christian people…you pray for patience and you keep getting put in situations that require it!) and we do poorly…we get to take it over. We don’t fail! He gives us a chance to pick ourselves up, brush ourselves off and try again. It is part of the process He goes through in changing us and helping us to become who He wants us to be (and presumably who WE want to be as well). Part of the process of not passing with flying colors the first time (I won’t say “failing” because we do not fail unless we don’t learn from it!) is learning where we are falling short and then, hopefully, we work on that through prayer and studying the Word.
James 1:2-3 says:
Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance.
Hopefully, the next time that test comes we do better. And we continue this process of working out our faith until one day, we are sitting in traffic when we HAVE to get to an appointment and, instead of griping and complaining, we choose to use that time to pray or listen to an audio book, or sing a song LOUDLY in the car not caring who sees you! Can you tell my biggest test is patience?
So don’t fear the tests when they come! Know that you can do your best and, where you come up short, you don’t fail in His eyes..you just get a do-over. And the best part is…all of His tests are open Book! The answers are right in front of us!All of God's tests are open Book! The answers are right in front of us! Click To Tweet