Prayer: Lord help us to prove genuine in the tests we experience in life.
Scripture: Vindicate me, O LORD, for I have walked in my integrity, And I have trusted in the LORD without wavering. 2 Examine me, O LORD, and try me; Test my mind and my heart. 3 For Your loving kindness is before my eyes, And I have walked in Your truth. 4 I do not sit with deceitful men, Nor will I go with pretenders. 5 I hate the assembly of evildoers, And I will not sit with the wicked. 6 I shall wash my hands in innocence, And I will go about Your altar, O LORD, 7 That I may proclaim with the voice of thanksgiving And declare all Your wonders. 8 O LORD, I love the habitation of Your house And the place where Your glory dwells. 9 Do not take my soul away along with sinners, Nor my life with men of bloodshed, 10 In whose hands is a wicked scheme, And whose right hand is full of bribes. 11 But as for me, I shall walk in my integrity ; Redeem me, and be gracious to me. 12 My foot stands on a level place; In the congregations I shall bless the LORD. Psalm 26 NAS
As an educator, you should know what a test is. A test is “a tool that one in authority uses to upset, stress, sadden or humiliate another. “ Of course not! You do not give a test at the end of a chapter or section of learning to for the purpose of stressing and humiliating your students. Why then, do you give a test? To prove that your students learned what is necessary, to prove that they are ready to move on to higher learning skills, to provide evidence beyond them saying that they, “get it,” but actually demonstrating the necessary ability and a record of proficiency.
So why do we get so shaken up when God allows us to be tested? I have seen people say that they trust God and then walk away at the first sign that things are not going their way. It is easy to say that God is your Lord, but quite another to prove that you will obey Him “No matter what.”
Some tests are to prove our obedience. The Israelites called God their LORD, so He tested them in Exodus 16:4
Then the LORD said to Moses, “Behold, I will rain bread from heaven for you; and the people shall go out and gather a day’s portion every day, that I may test them, whether or not they will walk in My instruction. NAS
God tested them to prove He was God, their provider and sustainer, and to prove their trust and obedience in Him. If they gathered more than one day’s portion because they did not believe that He would provide the next day, the bread would rot in their tent overnight except on the sixth day when He said gather for two days to prepare for the Sabbath. Sometimes we are tested to prove our obedience and in the end we get to prove God’s faithfulness.
2 Chronicles 32 says that God tested Hezekiah, “that He might know all that was in his heart.” We bless God when He gives, but will we bless when He takes away? We praise in health but will we continue in sickness? We trust Him when all the bills are paid but what is our attitude when we are not sure if we will have enough? A genuine heart passes the test.
We challenge our students to study and to make or take pre-tests so when the real test is given they are prepared. 2 Corinthians 13: 5 encourages us to do the same, “Test yourselves to see if you are in the faith ; examine yourselves ! Or do you not recognize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you -unless indeed you fail the test?” If we “fail” what happens? I have found that God picks me up, instructs me some more and then I get the opportunity to retake the test – maybe not in the same form, but definitely to show both of us that I understand that key lesson.
“Tests” come in many forms designed to strengthen and prove us. At the end of the test, it is the one who passed the test that is blessed. Like your student who rejoices at the big red “A” on their paper, we can rejoice when our faith and love has been proven genuine. We learn that we REALLY can trust God, that we should not flee, manipulate or stomp our feet and pout, our faith is real and we are that much stronger when the storms of life roll in and try to knock us down.
Copyright Kathy Branzell. Email firstname.lastname@example.org