Several years ago, I heard a young man, Stan Mitchell, preach a message that was basically about the testing of our faith. One thing that stands out is the test doesn’t make it only proves what is there. He used the example of sifting.
And the Lord said, “Simon, Simon! Indeed, Satan has asked for you, that he may sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail; and when you have returned to Me, strengthen your brethren.” Luke 22:31-32
When the grain and the tares are thrown into the air, the wind hits it and the tares are blown away. The wind has to be just right. Even tares can withstand some wind. If the wind is too strong, even the wheat will blow away. It is a test; a revealing event.
There are all types of tests. Test don’t make they only reveal.
I have had three biopsies. Yep, that is right, three times I’ve had some routine test come back abnormal and the doctor asked to do a biopsy to test the cells. One of those times, the results were that “pre-cancer” cells were identified. I ended up having to have them removed. I felt invaded. Cells that should not have been present were presenting themselves. I chose to take the test. The test didn’t cause the issue. The test didn’t cause the symptoms. The test only revealed what was there or not there. After having the tissue removed, a year later had another test that indicated the issue may have come back…another biopsy which came back clear. And last year, I took the test again, this time I was all clear. Yes, the taking the test was a little scary. On the other hand I could look at it like this….taking the test PROVES my continued healing. I didn’t go into the test believing I had any issue. It’s just a test.
Peter wasn’t all that unusual. Satan asks for every true Christian in some way. Satan’s goal is simple, to separate us from God and prove our weakness. Peter’s test was the choice to deny or confirm his relationship with Jesus. Sounds simple. Peter failed the test but his faith didn’t fail; His faith brought him back to Jesus. Peter still loved Jesus and ultimately returned to Jesus. Peter was weak as we all are at times. Thank God the WORD says this:
2 Corinthians 12:10
Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
Our faith is not in our strength. Our faith is in Jesus Christ. Jesus is our strength. We pray knowing that God’s will for our lives and our future will prevail because we have placed our faith in Him.
Why do some people get cancer and some people get healed? It’s all a test.
I will bring the one-third through the fire, Will refine them as silver is refined, And test them as gold is tested. They will call on My name, And I will answer them. I will say, ‘This is My people’; And each one will say, ‘The LORD is my God.’”
2 Corinthians 3:2
You are our epistle written in our hearts, known and read by all men.
If we are a epistles (letter; books). If there was never a test, we would be a very boring read. Think about it…a victory is essentially overcoming. If there were nothing to overcome; no obstacle then what victory would there be? There can be no victory without a test.
At times, because of the risk involved, we avoid the test. Don’t worry…tests are ongoing and if you avoid or fail it, you get a retake.
When I was in high-school I loved “retakes”. Retakes were usually a surprise. We didn’t go into the test expecting to fail or expecting that we would have the opportunity to take the test again. Retakes are bonus. Even if we passed the test, we could retake it for a better grade. How about that? God is just so good, His desire for us is that we do better and better.
My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing. James 1:2-4