As a graduate, you're glad that all those final exams are over.
You're on your way to the next level of life. It could be further education or starting your career.
You're thinking that all the testing is behind you.
You're wrong! Because some of your most difficult tests are still ahead.
That's the bad news.
Let me tell you the good news.
God has great plans for you and He wants to make you the greatest you can possibly be.
Your wildest dreams of grandeur and greatness don't even come near to what God has in His mind for you.
1 Corinthians 2:9
But as it is written: "Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him." (NKJV)
God wants to make you a conqueror, a victor, an overcomer in this life and He has plans for you to rule with Him in eternity.
For Him to get you there, He has to take you through some very important testing.
Some of it may not make sense right now, especially if you judge it based on your experiences on this earth.
God has an eternal plan for you and all of the tests that He gives you have a double purpose.
- For now in this life and
- for eternity.
God tests you because He wants you to be the best.
Some of your friends and classmates are going to flunk out. Make sure that you pass these tests.
I. Tests are Blessings
Job 23:10 But He knows the way that I take; When He has tested me, I shall come forth as gold. (NKJV)
- A. God knows where He is taking you.
We look at our lives in segments but God sees the whole picture.
We can only see the present and some of the past; but the future, only God can see.
He knows the way that He is taking you.
You have got to trust him with the unknown.
You may have plans, but God's plans are better for you.
- B. God tests you so that you can become better.
God tests you so that you will come out like pure gold.
It is important for gold to be tried.
Gold is purified through the furnace of hot and difficult testing.
They are not enjoyable experiences and God knows it, but the most important thing is that you come through purified.
If you don't like furnace testing, learn your lessons quickly.
Get purified as quickly as you possible can.
Humble yourself right away without any resistance.
God will never give you a furnace test too hot, nor too cold, nor too long, nor too short.
It will always be just what is required to get you purified.
- C. God only gives tests that He knows you can pass.
1 Corinthians 10:13
“No temptation (testing) has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted (tested) beyond what you are able, but with the temptation (with the testing) make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it (pass it).”
God permits the devil to test you, but only under the strictest control and monitoring from Him.
Satan cannot do anything to you that would cause you to fail.
If you fail, it will be because you wanted to.
You resisted God's working in you and didn't submit to His provision for you to win and get a high score.
In What Areas Does
God Test You?
- A. He Tests Your Life.
1. The Tests of Your Inward Life:
“You have tested my heart; You have visited me in the night; You have tried me and have found nothing; I have purposed that my mouth shall not transgress.” (NKJV)
2. The Tests of the Storm, to See What You Are Made of:
Two kinds of structures are tested.
The success of them depend on what they have built their foundation on.
“He is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid the foundation on the rock. And when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently against that house, and could not shake it, for it was founded on the rock. (NKJV)
The floods are the troubles of life.
Floods are hard to control.
You just let them flow, let it run its course.
The Panama Canal - bedrock
One of the sites for the canal between the two oceans was Lake Managua in Nicaragua.
A USA senator received a letter from Nicaragua with a stamp with two volcanoes on it.
Concerned about earthquakes, an investigation was issued.
They discovered that the fifty mile isthmus in Panama between the Atlantic and the Pacific was sitting on top of a massive bedrock platform.
That place was chosen and today we have a canal that has lasted 100 years and still going strong.
Why? It was built on the solid foundation of a large bedrock.
Your survival depends on what your foundation is built on.
You must dig deep into the Rock, Jesus Christ. The Solid Rock who will keep you from falling.
“But he who heard and did nothing is like a man who built a house on the earth without a foundation, against which the stream beat vehemently; and immediately it fell. And the ruin of that house was great.” (NKJV)
This person heard what to do and didn't follow through.
His destruction was catastrophic.
You're going to get storms and floods in your life.
Just be ready for them by being built on a solid foundation.
- B. He Tests Your Spirit.
1. By Demanding Great Sacrifices:
Abraham was asked to sacrifice Isaac, his only son, who he loved so very much.
Isaac was a fulfillment of a promise from God and now Abraham has to put him on the altar.
God will demand of us a sacrifice of some of our most treasured possessions.
Someone you love dearly and you feel you can't live without, is often demanded of God to be placed on the altar.
God must be your total focus in your life.
If anyone or anything gets more attention than God, they have become god to you.
2. By Leading You Through a Difficult Journey:
God led the children of Israel through the wilderness just because they were not ready to take the promised land.
God led them for 40 years because of their lack of faith and to...
- Humble them,
- Prove them,
- To know what was in their hearts,
- To see if they would keep His Commandments,
- To get rid of all that said, "We Can't Do It."
You are going on a long journey that will test you deeply.
Are you a complainer?
Are you always feeling sorrow for yourself?
Are you always putting yourself down?
“We are as grasshoppers in our own eyes,” said the faithless 10 spies.
3. By Giving You An Opportunity To Choose:
God did this to Solomon when He appeared to him in a dream asking what God could give him.
God knew that he needed but asked him any way.
It is important to God that you want what He wants for you.
4. By Proposing Hard and Impossible Tasks:
"Oh God, I can't do that!!!!"
Jesus sent Philip to get enough food for 5000 men to eat.
That was impossible for Philip to do.
5. By Permitting You To Suffer When You Are Serving Him:
This really messes a lot of people up.
How could God do that?
Paul and Silas were whipped and cast into prison where they were placed in stocks.
Andrey Crouch wrote in the lyrics of one of his famous songs:
“Through it all, through it all,
I’ve learned to trust in Jesus,
I’ve learned to trust in God.
I learned to depend upon His Word.”
“Well, I’ve been to lots of places,
And I’ve seen a lot of faces,
There been times I felt to all along.
But in my lonely hours, yes those lonely hours,
Jesus let me know that I was His own.”
6. By Permitting You To Experience Trials:
2 My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, (situations that will test you) 3 knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. (NKJV)
This brings us to another one of God's big tests.
- C. God Tests Your Faith.
1. By Making You Survive On Less Than What You Think Is Necessary.
God calls Gideon to deliver Israel from the Medianites. A tough job to say the least.
He gets 32,000 men to rally behind him. Not a big army by anyone's standards.
God told Gideon to reduce his army so that he could not say, "My own hand has saved me." (Judges 7:2)
God tells Gideon to proclaim to his army, "if any of you are fearful and afraid, you can go home."
22,000 "men" left leaving him with 10,000 brave soldiers.
God says, you've still got too many.
Take them to the river where I will test them and then I will tell you who to keep and who to send home.
God split them up by the lappers who scooped the water up to their mouths and the ones who got on their knees and stuck their head into the water to drink.
9,700 were careless and were sent home.
The lappers were kept and there where only 300 of them.
They were divided into three groups of 100 each.
They were each given a trumpet and a pitcher with a torch inside.
When the signal was given they blew their trumpets, broke their pitchers "...and they cried, `The sword of the LORD and of Gideon!"
The Midianites are overconfident and partying.
When they hear those 300 guys blow their trumpets, crash 300 clay pitchers and scream at the top of their longs, the Medianites were filled with terror and turned on each other.
Another way that God tests your faith is...
You've graduated from High School.
You're moving on now.
Life is full of tests.
The biggest test of life may be still ahead for you.
How are you going to pass these tests?
Are you going to compromise?
Are you going to give in?
You may have the best GPA.
Or you may not.
Still, you can score high with the test of life.
You can hear the words of our LORD who declares to us on that day when we are finally in His presence,
Well done good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord. (NKJV)