Pass the Test the First Time
By Karen King –
1 Peter 1:6:
”In this you greatly rejoice, even though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been distressed by various trials.”I once had a Bible teacher who would always caution us this way. “When God gives you a test, learn from it and pass it the first time. If you don’t, He will be sure to give you a retest.” Perhaps I took this a little more literally than she meant it but I never forgot that. The tests that God had let come my way were hard enough to go through once. I certainly didn’t want to go through the same ones twice, so I began to really pay attention to what He wanted me to learn in each one.
If I had to have other tests, I at least wanted them to be in different areas of my life and not again and again in the same area. Of course, God is always growing us in faith, and so He allows these trials to come NOT to punish us but to help us learn to trust Him and roll our cares onto Him. If we refuse, He will lovingly send similar tests again, looking to see if this time we will react the way He has taught us experientially and in His word.
I found the following quote from one of my favorite heroes of the faith, George Mueller:
Wherever God has given faith, it is given, among other reasons, for the very purpose of being tried. Yea, however weak our faith may be, God will try it; only with this restriction, that as, in every way, He leads on gently, gradually, patiently, so also with reference to the trial of our faith. At first our faith will be tried very little in comparison with what it may be afterwards; for God never lays more upon us than He is willing to enable us to bear. Now when the trial of faith comes, we are naturally inclined to distrust God, and to trust rather in ourselves, or in our friends, or in circumstances. We will rather work a deliverance of our own somehow or other, than simply look to God and wait for His help. But if we do not patiently wait for God’s help, if we work a deliverance of our own, then at the next trial of our faith it will be thus again, we shall be again inclined to deliver ourselves; and thus with every fresh instance of that kind, our faith will decrease; whilst, on the contrary, were we to stand still in order to see the salvation of God, to see His hand stretched out on our behalf, trusting in Him alone, then our faith would be increased, and with every fresh case in which the hand of God is stretched out on our behalf in the hour of the trial of our faith, our faith would be increased yet more. Would the believer, therefore, have his faith strengthened, he must especially, give time to God, who tries his faith in order to prove him, and then to provide the moment it is good for him.
It really is much easier to just trust God in the first place. When I have done that, I have never had Him let me down. George Mueller had such faith that he would get in a line without a ticket to go somewhere God was leading him. There would be no money in his pocket, but he knew that God would provide what he needed before he reached the front of the line. And God always did! Oh, the feats of faith we could accomplish with simple faith like his. Our Father is more than able to carry us whatever the trial, situation, or need is.
I want to be a person of great faith and great trust who does not have to take retests in life. God is always faithful when we decide to turn our burdens over to Him but He will not yank them out of our hands. May God help us all to trust Him more. Life would be filled with so much more joy and peace if we ever learned this lesson. Come join me on the faith journey, won’t you?