I hated tests when I was growing up. It seemed to me that everything I did was measured in a test. At school, in Scouts, at Sunday school, everything we learnt was subject to testing, and I never saw the point.
When I was 18, I sat in my mum’s car and a man sat in the seat beside me. He had a clipboard, and I had to drive where he told me to drive, I had to complete the manoeuvres he asked me to complete, and I had to answer the questions he asked me about the Highway Code and the car, and its maintenance. I’m talking about my driving test of course. Passing my driving test was for me, one of the most significant moments of my life. For a start, although I had passed exams at school, passing the driving test was a key to successful job applications. Passing the test opened a door to more freedom, it gave me the right to drive on my own, and as I said, being able to drive seemed to be something which the majority of potential employers wanted in an applicant, so it opened doors for me which would otherwise have been shut.
But it did more than that.
Passing my driving test also did something else for ME – it showed ME that I could drive. We don’t often consider this, but passing a test (any kind of a test) benefits us, and although often we think about tests being for the benefit of others, actually, one of the best things about a test is that passing it benefits us far more than it does the tester.
It shows us WE can do it.
- Passing the driving test showed ME that I could drive.
- Passing my surveying exams showed ME that I could be a surveyor.
- Completing my basic training and passing my Annual Personal Weapons Test and Battle Fitness Test every year showed me I was a soldier.
Passing a test shows us that we are capable of doing the thing that we are being tested about.
When we consider our faith and being tested in our faith, consider this If you are going through a testing time, right now. Whether you have a particular issue you’re dealing with, a relationship which is a bit of a burden to you, something in your life that you are thinking “I don’t know how much more of this I can take”, be encouraged! God KNOWS how much we can take, but often we don’t.
So perhaps, just perhaps, the test is happening for YOUR benefit, to show YOU that you can do that thing, or endure that thing, or that your faith IS strong enough when you are doubting. Perhaps, you are enduring a test because you need to understand that your faith is stronger than you ever imagined it could be, that it is precious and efficacious and that the other side of the test, you will be more confident in yourself and more assured in your faith.
James writes this about testing … “the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” (James 1:3,4)
Peter says of tests that they will prove our faith.
And as a final thought, if you think God is silent, don’t be discouraged.
The examiner is always silent while the test is in progress.