I’ve often wondered about “tests” by God. Some religions believe that God “tests the hearts of men” to see if they will be true to Him. I always had a problem with that. God is omniscient; He knows everything, all the time. He knows…all at the same time… the past, present and future. He knows the thoughts and intents of men’s hearts. He knows the beginning from the end. So- He knows our hearts better than we do. He doesn’t just “read” our minds. He knows what we are going to think, before the thought comes into our head! So my conclusion is the “testing” isn’t for His benefit, so He can find something out about us. I think the trials and tests help US to discover things about HIM, (and ourselves). 1 Peter 1:7 says, “These trials are only to test your faith, to see whether or not it is strong and pure. It is being tested as fire tests gold and purifies it-and your faith is far more precious to God than mere gold; so if your faith remains strong after being tried in the test tube of fiery trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day of his return.” God knows how much faith I have, so this scripture is telling me that these trials are to show me how much faith I have, or don’t have.
Each trial I have gone through has taught me more about the Father. Coming through financial problems showed me how much He wants to provide for me. When I stumble, I find out how much He loves me and that He is quick to forgive. When I come through an illness, I know Him as Healer. I am so glad that God is NOT grading my “tests”! Just think if He was like a school teacher. I used to give grades to my pupils to determine their grasp or their understanding of the subject, whether or not they have paid attention in class, studied their information, and their effort put forth. If they have done well and mastered the information I give them an “A”! If they didn’t make the effort, or didn’t pay attention, refused to read the information that I presented to them, they earn a lower score, sometimes an “F” for FAIL. God gives us what is known as a “Pass/Fail”. Even if we haven’t really paid attention (in church, or to the Holy Spirit), even if we don’t read our information (God’s Word), even if we don’t study (Pray in tongues, or praying at all) as much as we should, we can still “Pass” the test. Of course some people do fail. They forsake God and turn back to the world for answers.
I love taking Tests in the natural, always have. Love to learn new things. But in the spiritual, if I got to vote, I’d say no to tests. If God had been giving me letter grades, based on my performance, I believe they would have been maybe some “B’s”, several “C’s” and unfortunately a lot “D’s”! I’ve never failed. Praise God for His patience and grace! But I’ve never earned an “A”. Talk about an embarrassing report card! But these tests have “purified” me, helped me to draw closer to Him. To rely on God. I have learned how important it is to listen, pray and read the word. Not as busy work, or as an obligation, but as a way of getting more intimate with God. So…am I “counting it all joy” as James said? Well maybe not all the time, sometimes I just get frustrated. But I am getting better. I won’t be asking God to test me, but when He does, I WILL be paying attention!
Some of us are afraid to give our hearts to God, or at least our “whole heart.” We have this silly notion that our heart has compartments or pieces like a jig saw puzzle. Then we think “if I give my whole heart to God, what will I have left for my family?” or worse yet, “If I give my love away, and don’t get any back, then those compartments will be empty, and I’ll run out of love!” We picture our hearts like a puzzle with missing pieces, just giving parts of it here and there and never getting them back. Or perhaps we have had our hearts broken and feel like it has been shattered, and the broken shards are scattered to the wind. God showed me a wonderful picture today of my heart and the truth about my heart!
God said, “Give me your whole heart, and I will tear down all walls and dividers. No longer will your heart have compartments, it will be one big open vessel. Then I will pour in My Love! I will fill the vessel with MY LOVE. Then when you start loving others, not expecting anything in return, it stops being a vessel and becomes a SPRING! A spring that never runs dry! Then your love for others will be from this source and it will be more pure and strong than what you have now!”
If your heart has been broken, HE can put it back together, or even better, create a brand new heart for you. Accept HIS LOVE and HE will make your heart a Spring of Living Water. Why does God want our hearts? God said in Romans 2 “Or do you despise the riches of His goodness, forbearance, and longsuffering, not knowing that the goodness of God leads you to repentance?” and in 1 Peter 2:9 “But you are not like that, for you are a chosen people. You are a kingdom of priests, God’s holy nation, and his very own possession. This is so you can show others the goodness of God, for he called you out of the darkness into his wonderful light.” When we accept God’s love and give it to others, we show the goodness of God! When we give Him our whole heart, holding nothing back, we accept more readily everything He has for us. He blesses our socks off, and then we can bless others! When we can love, whether they ever love us back, it shows God’s goodness! Give God your heart! HE LOVES YOU! He wants nothing less, is not satisfied with only part of us, He wants all of your heart.