Saturday, May 8, 2010

Pass the Test the First Time

I once had a Sunday School 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 took that to heart. I knew from experience that one test was better than two, especially on the same subject matter. Fortunately I had never had to take but one or two retests in school and when that happened, the whole class had to take a retest. However, I also knew that God deals with each of us individually. The tests that He had let come my way were hard enough to go through once. I certainly didn't want to have to go through the same test or trial twice so I began to really pay attention when a particular test came my way.

I rationalized that if I had to have other tests, I at least wanted them to be on different areas of my life and not again and again in the same area. Of course, God is always growing us in the faith and so He allows these trials to come NOT to punish us but to help us grow to trust Him and roll our cares onto Him. If we decide to "take things into our own hands", He will often let us but He will give us another similar situation before long, looking to see if this time we will look to Him to solve our situation rather than run to friends or try to solve them ourselves. Friends are fine for support but only God ever really orchestrates an answer to our trial even if He uses friends.

I found the following quote from one of my favorite heroes of the faith, George Mueller. It is rather long but take a few minutes to let it soak in. You may find that you want to read it more than once because it is rich with wisdom on the same subject that I was addressing. Of course, he does a much better job of it!

"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." George Muller, Narratives

I don't know about you, but I am going to try even harder to learn from the trial the first time it comes around. It really is much easier and less burdensome 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 did such things as getting in a line without a ticket to go somewhere that he thought God was leading him. He usually had no money at all but he knew that God would provide what he needed before he reached the front of the line. And you know what? God always did provide in that way for him. Oh, the feats of faith we could accomplish with the simple faith of a child. If God can do those things for a simple man like George Mueller, He can certainly do them for us whatever the trial, situation or need is.

I want to be a person of great faith and great trust. I do not want to have to take retests in the trial department. How about you? God is always faithful but we have to decide to turn our burdens over to Him. 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 that lesson. Come join me on the faith journey, won't you?


Steve Finnell said...

i am following yr blog. u r invited to follow my blog

covnitkepr1 said...

I’ve enjoyed looking over your blog. I came across it through another blog I follow, and I’m glad I did. I am now a follower of yours as well. Feel free to look over my blog and perhaps become one as well.

JT said...

I enjoyed reading your blog. I am a follower.

Lloyd said...

I really enjoyed reading this well written message. God bless, Lloyd

Karen B. King said...

Thanks for all the kind comments. I'm glad the message of this blog blessed you. I am honored to have four new followers: Steve Finnell, covnitkepr1, JT, and Lloyd. Welcome! I will be checking out the blogs that you mentioned!