Lessons - Devotional - "Testing"

In my classes, I’ll regularly give quizzes to my students (the kids love ‘em). Although they think I’m doing it primarily to ruin their lives, I’m actually trying to check for understanding.
I need to see where they are in terms of understanding the material so I can better help them… and the students also need to know where they are.

Years ago, I was trying to learn Japanese. I learned the hiragana & katakana alphabets, and listened to Japanese audio tapes during my daily commute. I did this for about 6 months and was feeling pretty good that I understood Japanese.

Then one day I was playing tennis with a local club and was paired with one of the leaders, Matt Yamanashi. Excitedly, I told him I’d been studying Japanese for 6 months. He smiled and replied in Japanese. At least I assume it was Japanese…I didn’t understand a single word he said.

I had been deceiving myself as to how much progress I had made and it only took a quick test for me to see the truth.
These days I’m studying Spanish and testing has revealed to me that I can read about 60% of Spanish text, and that I can’t understand a thing brother Dio is talking about… even when he is speaking English.

Testing isn’t always pleasant, but it is helpful in that it reveals where you are at. Sometimes you may not even be aware of how much you have learned or grown until you are tested.
What is it that produces patience in James 1? Is it your faith? Or is it the testing of your faith?

Who in Scriptures wasn’t tested? Everyone we read about was tested: Abraham, Job, Moses, Daniel, Peter, Paul, even Christ himself!

So why are we so shocked when adversity happens to us? The Spirit has told us it is coming, to expect it, and even rejoice in it:
1 Peter 4:12-13 - Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you; but rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ’s sufferings, that when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy.

God has given us everything we will need to pass the tests:
- There is always a way out of any temptation (I Cor 10:13)
- He lets us to work with, and copy others
In I Cor 11:1, we are encouraged to “Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ”.
Someone has had the same test you are experiencing now.
Wouldn't you like to hear how they passed it and what they learned?
- God has given us His Spirit to guide and comfort us (Jn 14-16)
- And the tests are open book! The answers are in the Bible!
You are allowed to look up the answers... it isn't cheating.

One final thought and then I’ll close:
Is testing always just seeing how you handle adversity? How do you act when things are great and when there are no visible problems? Do you stop relying on God in prayer during those times? Sometimes the easy times reveal where our heart really is!

All of life is a test! You don’t want to find yourself on Judgment Day having failed the test because you lived your way.
Jn 14:6 - Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.
Do you need to change the way you are living and put on Christ in baptism for the remission of your sins?
Maybe you are already a Christian, but your current testing is very challenging? Do you need the prayers of your brethren on your behalf?

The invitation is offered. Come make your need known while we stand and sing.