The topic of tests, trials, and persecution is an entire book unto itself. Each is different from the other and must be looked at individually to be understood in meaning and purpose. The angel of light in all ‘compassion’ would want us to believe that there is no need for anyone to struggle or suffer in life. Might his real goal be to stifle growth and success to make one weak? What does the Bible say about each?
Tests: “But as we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel, even so we speak, not as pleasing men, but God who tests our hearts.” [1 Thessalonians 2:4].
Trials: “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].
Persecution: “Remember the word that I said to you, ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you. If they kept My Word, they will keep yours also. But all these things they will do to you for My name’s sake, because they do not know Him who sent Me.” [John 15:20-21
It is not possible to eliminate them from life. It is the liberal platform’s desire to level the ‘playing field’ to make life the same for all and to reduce the struggles in life, which is just not possible. In my reading I came across a story about a liberal lady who justified abortion…infant murder…because “it is better for a child to be aborted than a single mother struggling in life to support a child while trying to get an education.” I thought that she must have missed the sex education class. If such thought process is the standard, why not allow murder if someone gets in your way? Does this mean that people with disabilities should be put to death, because they are going to have to struggle in life? Every person has God given abilities and talents. Their successes and struggles are going to be different. Struggles vary from person to person, so what struggles is society to eliminate? How can we possibly eliminate struggles? Anything worth attaining is going to be accompanied with struggles. We must understand the differences between tests, trials, and persecution. This is what the liberal platform doesn’t seem to understand.
Tests… What are tests? Tests are activities for measuring the skill, knowledge, capacities, or aptitudes of an individual or group. Tests are good for you. A good parent tests their children. A good teacher tests their students. In the workforce there are tests everyday. One is always being tested and if one passes the test one progresses, improves, and gets promoted. Doctors and lawyers must pass tests…that’s why they are always ‘practicing’. Tests are needed in life to grow and to assess where one is in relation to a goal. Tests tells one where competence has been attained and where there is a need to improve. Tests are a necessary part of life.
Tests are so important that the Bible says that God tests you as well. God gives people tests in life and in ministry. In ministry, God tests your heart to see if He can trust you to preach the Gospel faithfully. The Bible says, “But as we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel, even so we speak, not as pleasing men, but God who tests our hearts.” [1 Thessalonians 2:4]. Could this mean that we speak God’s truth without fearing who we might offend? We will start in ministry (serving) by doing very basic duties in the church. God tests you to see if you are faithful. He wants to see if you cause division, if you complain, if you show love to people, and if you represent the church accordingly? As Joyce Meyers says, “Sometimes God allows us to be tested because He’s preparing us for promotion.” As we pass His tests and grow, God gives us more responsibility. With time, who…other than God…knows that we may be teaching a Bible study or helping the pastor. If we fail the tests that we are given, we learn where we need to improve. If we do not change or improve, we may not be serving the church at all. The Bible says, “I, the Lord, search the heart, I test the mind, Even to give to every man according to his ways, According to the fruit of his doings.” [Jeremiah 17:10]. God sees how we handle the tests that He gives us and rewards us accordingly. The Bible says that God does not only test us, but He watches us: “The Lord is His holy temple, The Lord’s throne is in heaven; His eyes behold, His eyelids test the sons of men. The Lord tests the righteous, But the wicked and the one who loves violence His soul hates.” [Psalm 11:4-5].
Jesus tested His disciples. If He tested them, be sure that He will test us! For example, He tested the faith of Phillip when Jesus performed the miracle of feeding the five thousand. The Bible says,” Now the Passover, a feast of the Jews, was near. Then Jesus lifted up His eyes, and seeing a great multitude coming toward Him, He said to Phillip,’Where shall we buy bread, that these may eat?’ But this He said to test him, for He Himself knew what He would do.” [John 6:5-6]. This left Phillip in a quandary ,because Jesus already knew what He was going to do. Phillip learned a lesson about doubting Jesus. We all face tests in life. There is no way to eliminate them. The tests for what we will become in life will all be different. We should be grateful for our tests and embrace them. Tests keep order in society, they help us learn, grow and become better people. The Bible says, “For You, O God, have tested us; You have refined us as silver is refined.” [Psalm 66:10].
Next week we will look at trials. Many trials we bring upon ourselves…of course with help from the angel of light.
– Bob Munsey
“You don’t get closer to God by passing judgment on others.”
PS With the current coronavirus scare we will find this to be a test of our society. Such a test will bring out the best and the worst of the members. What will be the ‘color of your character’?