“I learned in second grade—I don’t like tests.”

I remember taking my first test in second grade. You couldn’t talk. You couldn’t ask questions, even if you didn’t know the answers. I raised my hand and the teacher said, “David, I don’t answer questions on test day.” I responded, “But I don’t know the answer. What do I do?” She said, “You will have to remember what I’ve already taught you. If you don’t know the answer, just leave it blank.” It was on that day I decided—I don’t like tests, especially those with blanks.
James 1:12 says, “Count it all joy whenever you face trials (Tests) of many kinds.”

Not only are we not to dislike tests, we are told to count it all joy when they come! Our true response to tests, which comes from the deepest place in our heart, is the key to how long it takes for us to pass the test.

The Greek word for “trials” is peinamois meaning, to test something in order to know its worth or value. A proving through adversity, afflictions, or troubles. All tests are for the purpose of discerning the quality of the object being tested. God continues His testing process until He is sure we will not break under pressure or call it quits when the way becomes difficult.

“Not that troubles should come as a surprise to you. You have always known that we’re in for this kind of thing. It’s part of our calling.” I Thessalonians 3:3 (MSG)

Tests and trials originate in the mind and will of God to expose our weaknesses and reveal things that hide deep in our character that could harm and even destroy us in times of great spiritual warfare. I believe this was God’s intent for Moses in Deuteronomy 8:2, “And you shall remember that the Lord your God led you all the way these forty years in the wilderness to humble you and test you, to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep His commandments or not.”

God doesn’t bring sickness, poverty, and every trial our way. However, by the time they reach us, they are in His hands and He uses them to accomplish much good in our life and bring glory to His name. I must be honest though; I still don’t like tests. I don’t like being vulnerable and seeing things in my life and character traits that I didn’t know were still there.

I still find my faith at times to be weak when I thought it was strong. Tests cause me to constantly reassess life’s real values and what’s important to my spiritual growth. Testing clears my mind, exposes the temporal and false views of life and security. Like my second grade teacher, God is usually silent on test day. Oh, how I wish He would speak loudly and clearly, or at least in that “still small voice.” It would help my flesh immensely.

When it seems God isn’t talking your faith must rely on what He’s already said in His Word. The older I get the more I realize I don’t know a lot I thought I used to know. But there is one thing I know for sure, if I trust Him on test day, I know He will develop victorious and positive endurance in me for the days ahead after the test is over.

If today is “test day” for you—trust the Word He has already taught you. Heaven and earth may pass away but His Word endures forever. If you are between tests listen intently for His voice and hide every word in your heart, test day is coming.