Don’t Detest Tests
God uses them to shape our character and to make us more like Him. When we have a disdain for troubles, we forget that God is in complete control at all times. Tests remind us of our need of God, for sure, but we don’t detest them because God is working in them for our good and His glory.
Don’t Resist Tests.
The One Who allowed them in will be with you during them and bring you through.
Don’t Fear Tests.
God has made all tests that we endure in this life “open book tests”. And He helps us through every test.
We are back in the book of Psalms today, 65-67. Before tests visit us, we might be in a season of blessing or of harvest as in our opening Psalm this morning. Psalm 65 is titled, “God’s care for the earth”, and I would add, and its inhabitants. There are vivid descriptions of God’s oversight over the creation he has made —over the mountains, the seas, the rain, the wilderness, and the pastures and according to the Easy English Bible Commentary for Psalm 65, “Many Bible students think that this is a harvest psalm. Harvest is when people pick the fruits and vegetables that they need for food. The Jews had three harvests:
- Passover (March-April). This was the first harvest, when they brought in grain called barley. They made bread from barley.
- Pentecost (May-June). This was the second harvest, when they brought in grain called wheat. They also made bread from it.
- Tabernacles (September-October). This was the last harvest, when they picked the grapes. They made wine from the grapes.”
Times of Harvest Strengthen us for Tests of this Life
Harvest time was a significant time in the community of God’s people. The harvest was a time of refreshment of blessing. But the harvest does not last forever. And there is another harvest God invites us to—the harvest of souls. Psalm 65:2 reminds us that God has offered salvation to us all. He wants a relationship with us all: “All humanity will come to you, the one who hears prayer.” And all humanity comes to God because ONLY God can cover our sins. Psalm 65:3 “Iniquities overwhelm me; only you can atone for our rebellions.” Only God, friends. Only Jesus can offer us forgiveness. But the most significant verse for me in this Psalm is Psalm 65:4: “How happy is the one you choose and bring near to live in your courts! We will be satisfied with the goodness of your house, the holiness of your temple.”
This is where our joy comes from—being near to God.
Not from temporary circumstances.
This is where our satisfaction comes from—God’s goodness.
Not from any earthly provision.
Hold onto this joy and this satisfaction in God because they will carry you through the tests of this life. And we will be tested in this life, which brings us to Psalm 66. One commentary says this Psalm is about a special Passover after God’s people were rescued from the Assyrians. Hezekiah was the king at that time and many people think that he wrote part or all of this Psalm. This Psalm starts with praise for God’s mighty acts and then an interesting passage which are also verses for our Scripture of the Day:
Psalm 66:10-12 (NIV) “10 For you, God, tested us; you refined us like silver. 11 You brought us into prison and laid burdens on our backs. 12 You let people ride over our heads; we went through fire and water, but you brought us to a place of abundance.” What do you think of these verses? Are they hard to hear? These verses hold a special place in my heart in a season of my life a couple of years after I was saved, probably 1989 or 1990. It became one of my first songs I would write to God.”
God showed me that He could be trusted when I was tested. We don’t detest tests when we know God is using them for our good and His glory.
Tests cause pain but that test is not in vain. And God is with us in the fire, friends. As a homeschool mom, I can tell you I would be a rich lady if I had a nickel for every time one of my kids complained about a test they had to take. They did not know why they had to do it. Tears were shed. But I still made them take those tests.
Tests Come From a Good God
I think we would tend to think someone was an enemy to allow suffering or hardship to come our way.
Tests Teach Us to Persevere
Tests of this life can hurt deep and run long. Persevering in those tests changes us. But when we know our Father’s heart, we have to view suffering and tests that God allows into our life differently.
Don’t Detest Tests
We don’t detest tests because of what God is accomplishing through them. Could such tests be good for us? And was comfort truly good for us?
Tests reveal our hearts.
They indicate where we need growth and where we are excelling.
Don’t Hate Tests—They measure more than our performance.
They show our need. They display our struggles and our triumphs as we lean hard on God and His word.
Tests expose us for who we really are.
Bumps and all. A good God allows tests because He is not going to leave us in the same place He found us.
We Need Tests
Our flesh does not like tests, but we need tests. We need examination to keep our hearts in line. Oswald Chambers, author of “My Utmost for His Highest” wrote, “Crises reveal character. When we are put to the test the hidden resources of our character are revealed exactly.” What are the hidden places in your character that you seek to cover and need to let be exposed? What are the hidden strengths you did not know you had until you were tested? Ah – it is hard work, friends. This humbling. But so good!
Psalm 67 is a fitting end to today’s bible reading time. It opens with verses we have probably all heard before—a famous blessing.
“1 May God be gracious to us and bless us; may he make his face shine upon us 2 so that your way may be known on earth, your salvation among all nations.”
God’s face shining upon us speaks of His favor. But what we don’t often focus on is verse 2: “so that your way may be known on earth, your salvation among all nations.” We want His blessing so others can find and know God. It is not about us.
Don’t detest tests. God uses them to shape our character and to make us more like Him. Don’t resist tests. The One Who allowed them in will be with you during them and bring you through. Don’t seek blessing so you can be free from tests and be in your comfort zone. Seek blessing so others can find God by seeing His activity in your life. Even better – glorify God during the tests in such a way that people can also find God!
Tests are hard, right? Especially when they go on for a LONG time. But God can be trusted when we are tested. God uses tests in an amazing way if we let Him. And He makes all of His tests open book (as in, open the Bible) so we can pass the tests of this life.
7-Fold One-Year Bible Reading Plan
Day #165: Psalm 65-67
Scripture of the Day: Psalm 66:10-12
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