THOUGHTS

SHORT, THOUGHT PROVOKING ARTICLES PUBLISHED BI-MONTHLY.

All articles are written using the NKJV, unless otherwise noted! All articles are written by David Hicks, unless specified otherwise.

TESTS!   

Many of us can still remember from our days in the classroom, this all too familiar illustration:

1. A pizza is divided into 12 slices. If there are eight slices left, what fraction of the pizza is remaining?

a) 3/4

b) 2/3

c) 1/3

d) 2/4

I still see these in my sleep, especially helping my ten year old with his homework. These multiple choice questions present themselves in everyday life as well. The question is presented, and the choices are available, but only one is the right answer.

Our character is shaped by how we respond to tests, and this is a principle that the Bible speaks of often.

First, let us define the difference between a test, trial, and temptation. All of these aspects of life require us to make choices (right one vs. wrong one); however, their origins are quite different.

Test – the Divine intention in testing is plainly revealed in God’s word and universally in life – “to give opportunity for choice” Genesis 22:1; Exodus 15:25; 20:20; Deuteronomy 8:2, 16; 13:3; Judges 7:4; 1 Kings 3:5; 13:18; 2 Chronicles 32:31; Psalms 7:9; 11:5; 17:3; John 6:5-6.

Trial – a trial is simply anything in this life that creates difficulty for us mentally, physically, or both. All men in this world will know trials; only those who come to God through Jesus Christ will know them with the aid of hope!

James 1:2-3My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, 3 knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience.”

The patience that trials produce are found in the realization through each of them that this is not our home, and as we endure them, we are reminded that we are pilgrims and sojourners in this world (temporary residents).

Temptations – This term is where the rubber meets the road (so-to speak). Although all of us face this dreaded choice producer, none of the temptations we face are of God! James tells us simply that they are born in our own hearts. The temptation itself is conceived and from that seed, gives birth to sin (that which is the wrong choice) – James 1:12-16.

All temptations are born of three primary sources –

1 John 2:15-17Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world. 17 And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever.”


Examples of process:


If we recognize the fact that tests are a reality, it becomes literally impossible to list them all. All life is a test! At the same time, none of us have tests that are unique (even the ones that present themselves in the form of trials), note:

1 Corinthians 10:13No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.”

It should be noted that the “way of escape” is not tied to this life where the trials and tests occur; but in the promises of God through Jesus Christ the Savior of all who come to God through Him!!! 1 Peter 1:9


So, how do we prepare for life’s tests?

  1. Test ourselves (trial runs)!

2 Corinthians 13:5Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Do you not know yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you are disqualified.”

  1. Realize that tests produce positive character, don’t fear them!

James 1:2-4My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, 3 knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. 4 But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.”

  1. Prepare ourselves for the tests with the virtues of success!

2 Peter 1:5-11But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, 6 to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, 7 to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love. 8 For if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 For he who lacks these things is shortsighted, even to blindness, and has forgotten that he was cleansed from his old sins.

10 Therefore, brethren, be even more diligent to make your call and election sure, for if you do these things you will never stumble; 11 for so an entrance will be supplied to you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.”

  1. Finally, we must grow our faith as we wait for the passing grade!

Philippians 3:8Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ”

2 Timothy 4:7-8I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. 8 Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing.”

Life is a Test, don’t Vex, LIVE!!!