2 My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, 3 knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. 4 But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing. 5 If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. 6 But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. 7 For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; 8 he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.
This is a test. This is only a test. Since 1963 the emergency broadcast system has been operating periodic tests of the system in case of catastrophic emergency as a way to get instructions out to the general public for safety. I remember these tests.
In society we are required to pass many tests in order to move forward. The purpose of the tests we take in school is to identify gaps in education and make sure students retain enough information to move to the next level. In jobs we have to pass tests also. The first test you have to pass is the job interview where someone is trying to assess whether you can handle the job being offered. In my job there were several courses that I had to pass tests on before I was certified for my position. And after passing all the tests I am required to continue to educate myself and earn certain credits to stay certified.
This life that God has given us is full of tests of our faith. Not only do we have to take all the tests to get and keep jobs and get drivers licenses, etc… but we have to do it all while being tested in our faith daily. My faith in God should permeate every aspect of my life. There are times when my faith could conflict with demands on my life.
Like any test there are options. And sometimes in daily life the options are clear but the best answer is not always clear.
Here is my master plan to pass all the tests:
- Determine to follow God with my whole heart
- Learn from God’s Word regularly
- Spend time listening to God in prayer regularly
- Spend time talking to God in prayer regularly
- Trusting the Holy Spirit to guide me during the test as an ongoing process
My determination to follow God causes me to read and study the Word of God, pray, and listen to the Holy Spirit as the supernatural result. This sets me up well for passing all the tests thrown at me in life. Some of those “trials” as James 1:2 puts it, will be more difficult and I will have to rely on every ounce of faith and trust that I have to get through but God will bring me through faithfully. This is not to say that I am perfect, but I am putting in the effort and forgiven when I fail.