“Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” James 1:2-4 ESV
“A true test of character isn’t how you are on your best days but how you act on your worst days.” Unknown
Talk about a real let down for me when I read the above. I am a horrible test-taker! Anxiety, images of past failures and throw in a touch of ADD and my stomach churns, hands shake and doom sets in. In God’s world, it is a pass or fail. I believe and receive Christ or I don’t. No make-up tests. No extra credit. No dog ate my homework. No three strikes rule.
However, once we believe, the real testing begins. Faith is tested to help us become more like Jesus. Whether knowingly or not, when we believe in Christ, the Enemy ravages us with everything he’s got. He’s really ticked! The Enemy may come in so many disguises including “Angel of Light,” that discourage us. It’s a test.
Driving home from work in a blizzard. Was I joyful? No. It was white knuckling, reciting the Lord’s Prayer and sometimes I prayed like Peter, “Lord, save me!” But I didn’t fail the test.
God says to test him too, which is mentioned only once in the Bible. “Bring all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be food in My house, and try Me now in this,” Says the LORD of hosts, “If I will not open for you the windows of heaven and pour out for you such blessing That there will not be room enough to receive it.” Malachi 3:10
Count it all joy. We can because of what Christ and the Holy Spirit do for us. Even when we’ve succumbed to an addiction, cursed our Father—so many grave disappointments, we come back just a little bit better, a little more steadfast in our faith and trust. We pass the test.
Thank you that your son took the test for us with flying colors. No matter the challenges, joys and heartaches, with Jesus we pass the test here and in heaven later. No matter the outcomes here on Earth, we pass in heaven with joy. Help us to share this with others. Help us to live this truth. Help us to celebrate we are not failures.