He asked this only to test him, for he already had in mind what he was going to do. John 6:6
God’s testing you now: putting you through the fire, to burn out the dross… through the storm, to blow away the chaff… and through the deep waters, so you can learn to swim.
The bible tells of an occasion when Jesus was ministering to thousands of people, and asked Philip, one of the disciples: “where will we buy bread for these people to eat?” The bible says that Jesus already knew what he would say, and asked this to test him. It seems that Philip’s automatic response was to think logically, and may I add he was pretty negative as well: “it would take more than half a year’s wages to buy enough bread for each one to eat!” The Lord was testing Phillip’s trust in God’s power: could God not provide? Is God’s hand cut short? Is anything too hard for God? Where was Philip’s faith in that moment?
God tests us because He wants us to know our options, and make decisions by faith. Jesus knew that Peter would deny him, and this was a test orchestrated by God: when Satan asked Jesus to sift him like wheat, Jesus anticipated what would happen and prayed for his faith to persevere. This testing developed Peter’s love for Jesus, and hence he was able to accept forgiveness and continued with his apostolic call. In the wilderness the people of Israel were tested by God for 40 years. God had them go through hunger and discomfort and endless waiting, in order to humble them. They needed to know what was in their hearts. Did God know that they would behave this way? I believe God expected them to be grateful, but they chose to be anxious. The Lord gives us options, just like He gave Adam and Eve options, and the Israelites too.
Jehovah is sovereign and All powerful, He is also able to work with and despite our decisions.
- Because God is sovereign, He can re-direct any wrong turn (decision) we have made:
- Because He is omniscient, He is able to protect His perfect and decreed will for our lives for His name’s sake:
- Because He is just, He must also allow the consequences to manifest in our lives because of disobedience.
The Lord God tests us beyond our capacity and endurance, because He desires to develop in us the strength necessary to do His will. I firmly believe that God has greater faith in us than we have in ourselves. Many people say that God does not give us more than we can handle, based on 1st Corinthians 10:13: but the truth is that He does. I have observed that God pushes us to our limits, and this way we have no other choice but to need Him! God says that the things we are tempted by, are common to all of mankind and therefore we are able to bear it’s weight. The temptations to kill yourself, to be promiscuous, homosexual, drug addict, a murderer, a thief, – are choices we make, between the options we have. We can handle the pressure, and because God knows our hearts He provides an escape in the moment, we choose to stay or to exit.
We also know that God tested Abraham, when He asked for Isaac as a burnt offering. He tested the Israel in different occasions, to humble them: to confirm that they loved God with all their heart and soul, and to check their level of obedience. God left Hezekiah for a little while to test and see what was in his heart. Jesus Christ himself, was tested by suffering to learn obedience. Nobody man can be tempted, afflicted, or persecuted by men, but by receiving the permission of God (remember Job, Paul and Peter). This means that God has already set up boundaries with which Satan must submit to and also decides when to lift the trial (remember Paul). Instead of removing the trials from Paul’s life, God gave him grace; instead of removing Peter’s trials, God gave him faith and instead of removing Job’s trial, God gave Him a reality check of humility.
Father God, El Elyon, Almighty I thank you for all the processes even if they have broken me to pieces. Today I stand in the gap for all those reading, may you use each test to strengthen and edify us. May you teach us reverence, unconditional love, perseverance and faithfulness. Your word says that trials reveal the true intentions and motives for our actions, but that they also develop in us perseverance, Godly character, and conviction in the HOPE of you salvation. May we know that you have, are and will save us until the day of your return. May our faith grow as we become people of righteousness until the end. And may we move in discernment, love and wisdom as we make decisions in every area of our lives. In Jesus name, Amen.