TEST. In grade school, that four-letter word could send chills down my spine, especially if I wasn’t expecting it. Spelling tests, history tests, biology tests. We grew up being tested on things in order to build our knowledge and prepare us for the future. Spiritually, the same principle holds true.
Judges 3 mentions that as Israel entered Canaan, the Promised Land, there were certain nations that the Lord did not drive out ahead of them. It says these nations “the Lord left, to test Israel by them” (Judges 3:1). Later on in the New Testament, James reminds us that “God cannot be tempted with evil, and he himself tempts no one” (James 1:13).
TESTING is different than TEMPTING.
The two words sound similar, have most of the same letters, and in this case, even end the same, but they have very different sources and purposes. Let’s clear up the confusion…
TESTING is done by God to strengthen us.
TEMPTING is done by the devil to destroy us.
TESTING builds our faith and draws us to God.
TEMPTATION distracts our faith and draws us from God.
TESTING prepares us for greater battles and feats in the future.
TEMPTATION leaves us unprepared for warfare in the future.
There will be plenty of tests from God and temptations from the devil in the future. In the middle of them, clear your head enough to define which one you’re facing so you’ll know how to respond to them. Pray for God to strengthen you through the tests and strengthen you against the temptations. Either way, as we rely on Him, we grow stronger.
I never thought I’d say this, but here it goes… THANK GOD FOR THE TESTS!