If you feel as if you are in a season of testing, it can be hard to decipher what God is doing in your life. During these times, it’s important to turn to the Bible and see what God has to say about the “tests” He might bring into our lives.
The word “test” can make it seem as if there is a pass or fail aspect to a particularly difficult season of life. While there certainly are right and wrong choices to be made, it’s important to remember that often God is teaching us something through a “test,” or “trial.”
One of the most famous scenes in which God tested one of His followers comes in Genesis 22 when God told Abraham to take his son, Isaac, and present him as a burnt offering to God. Abraham obeyed God, but when he was about to kill him, “the angel of the Lord called out to him from heaven, and said, ‘Do not lay a hand on the boy…Do not do anything to him. Now I know that you fear God, because you have not withheld from me your son, your only son’” (Genesis 22:9-12, NIV).
This was a test of God’s, but during the entire trial, He did not leave Abraham. When He saw that Abraham was willing to obey Him, He provided a sacrifice so that Abraham did not kill his son.
This may seem as if it is an extreme example and one that is hard for us to relate to in the twenty-first century. However, all of the same lessons are still there for us. When we are in a season of testing, we must draw nearer to God and not further from Him. If we follow His commandments and go down the path to which He is calling us, He will provide all that we need.
Feeling “tested” by God can come in many forms. Sometimes we can feel this while waiting for Him to answer a prayer, or when we are in an especially challenging time of a relationship. We can also face trials through temptations, but an important point to remember is that God promises that we will not be tempted beyond what we can handle.
As Paul writes to the Corinthians, “No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; He will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, He will also provide a way out so that you can endure it” (1 Corinthians 10:13, NIV).
James 1:2-4 also tells us, “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”
Even in seasons of testing and trials, God doesn’t leave us. He doesn’t want us to lack anything. The trials we go through, although difficult, produce things in us that we didn’t have previously. And ultimately, if we draw near to Him and listen to His voice, we can come out on the other side of difficult times even closer to Him than before.