The Test

8:30 AM

What came to your mind when you read the title of this post?  I'm going to guess that most of you thought back to one week ago when you sat down to answer two hundred multiple choice questions on the first twelve chapters of John and the memory passages you spent hours perfecting.  Some of you may have thought of the five minutes you spent that afternoon reciting three of those passages to judges.

However, this post isn't about either of those tests.  I'm writing about a test that you and I are taking right now.  Last week was amazing.  There were times when God seemed to give us a peek into eternity.  But it wasn't eternity; last week is over.  God has brought us back to the various places He has assigned for us.  And now the test begins.  Will we glorify Him for the week we just experienced?  Will we allow the Word with which He has washed us to penetrate our souls?  Will we go forth changed by the Word of God and ready to labor in His harvest field?

One passage that came to my mind last week (I think it was the night before Finals) is found in Proverbs 30.  Agur prays, "Give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with the food that is needful for me, lest I be full and deny you and say, 'Who is the LORD?' or lest I be poor and steal and profane the name of my God" (Proverbs 30:8b-9).  I don't believe this wise man is saying that it is sinful to be wealthy or poor.  Rather, he presents these as tests.  There is a test when we are showered with the blessings this world loves, and we must look to the Lord, remembering that we have no good apart from Him (see Psalm 16:2, 5-6, 8).  There is another test when we are stripped of earthly comforts and must cling to the treasure laid up for us in heaven, trusting God to work for our good.

This reminds me of Job.  God allowed Satan to take all Job had away from him.  When his livestock were stolen and burned and his ten children died together, Job proclaimed, "Blessed be the name of the LORD" (Job 1:21).  When Satan struck him with loathsome sores, he refused to sin with his lips (see Job 2:7-10).  His hope was in God, not circumstances.  However, I think he passed another test that we don't know as much about.  Read the first five verses of Job.  Did you see it?  Job was the "greatest of all the people of the east" (verse 3), yet he was also "one who feared God and turned away from evil" (verse 1).  In his prosperity, he never trusted in himself or acted as if he didn't need God.

Another Bible Bee contestant was talking about this kind of test Friday night.  She said that Christians in China are praying for their brothers and sisters in America that we might experience trials to strengthen us.  The weakness of our churches testifies that we are miserably failing the first test of Proverbs 30:9.

Fellow disciples, let's pray for one another.  Remember the example of our Lord.  He knew He was going to the cross to suffer unthinkable horrors and to consume the wrath of God for our sins, and yet He prayed specifically for Peter's faith (see Luke 22:31-32).  How can we be too "busy" to pray for each other and for all our brothers and sisters around the world who are being tested?

This year's Bible Bee competition is over, but the race is not.  Keep running, my friends!

Your sister by the blood of Jesus,
Delie

"Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.  Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted" (Hebrews 12:1-3).

"Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him" (James 1:12).

For more encouragement, I highly recommend reading these lyrics by Matt Redmann.  We sang this with a couple of other Bible Bee families Saturday afternoon.  It is a great reminder to bless the Lord no matter what kind of test you're experiencing.

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4 comments

  1. Wonderful post! Thank you

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  2. This is beautiful Delie! It can be hard coming off of such a glorious week, and since many of us have so much new free time, the reminder to continue persevering with eyes fixed on Jesus is needed. Thank you so much for your encouragement and humble spirit! The Lord has brought us out with a mighty hand and has given us richly all things to enjoy; now--will we praise Him? =)

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  3. Beautiful post Delie! and BTW,

    CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I was watching Nationals from home, and I was SOOOO EXCITED WHEN YOU WON!!!!! CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  4. Thank you so much, Delie, for this exhortation and encouragement! When Bible Bee is over, it's so easy to feel like we can just go on with ordinary life, but like you said, the test has only begun. How are we going to live out what we have learned through John these past months? Who are we going to share the truths of God's Word with?
    Also, congratulations on winning the 2015 National Bible Bee!!! We are so very happy and excited for you! :) I can't wait to see how God will continue to use you for His kingdom. ~Kaitlyn R.

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Thanks for making my day!