But, I Don’t Like Tests!
Read Proverbs Chapter 17
Pr 17:3 The crucible for silver and the furnace for gold, but the LORD tests the heart.
Why did God allow Satan to severely test Job’s faith? Why do we see Christians all around the world being persecuted and tried for their faith? Why do we see so many Christians having trials and tribulations in their lives? This verse may give us a clue to the answer to those questions. “The Lord tests the heart.” We have studied that God puts our lives through the fires of refinement, as is done to silver and gold. Why does He do that, or why does He allow it, whichever you prefer?
First, we can say that the Lord already knows our heart. He knows precisely how we will handle everything that He allows us to encounter in our lives. He is God. He knows whether we will fail or succeed in our times of testing. So why does He even bother to test us? I think the answer is simple. He wants US to know whether we can stand the test.
If our lives are as pure and innocent as possible, it would be a good thing for us to know that. In the case of Job, he learned that his faith was strong enough to survive the horrendous tribulation that Satan brought upon him and his life. Perhaps he would rather have found that out some other way, but we surely have to believe that in the end, Job’s strength and trust in the Lord was stronger than ever. Perhaps some of the trials we face, as SSA believers, are meant to strengthen us. While we are enduring the strife of dealing with our same-sex temptations, we may not believe we are strong enough to endure it. But our Savior knows, and perhaps the only way we will know is to go through it and persevere until we see the end result.
Then there is the other side of the coin. Perhaps the Lord knows we are not strong enough to endure our testing. Maybe He must bring into our lives some situations which show us we need improvement in our spiritual walk with Him. Would you allow me a personal application? You may have heard much, or all, of this story through other devotions. If so, bear with me for the benefit of those who have not.
For thirty-five years I refrained from any same-sex actions. During that time, my pride began to swell up. Every year that passed was one more year when I could say, “That stuff is behind me.” God knew that wasn’t true. He knew, even though I didn’t, that if the right opportunity and right moment came along, I would once again give in to temptation. I firmly believe that the Lord allowed me to experience temptation, a testing of my heart, to show me that I was nowhere near where I needed to be in my spiritual walk. Did God cause me to sin? Certainly not! God allowed me to be tempted, but it was my own flawed heart, my own lack of loyalty to Christ, which caused me to fall.
At this point in history, you and I live in a world where opportunity abounds. There is not a single one of us who would not be able to go right back into the gay life if our hearts were not solidly fixed upon our Lord and Savior. Some of us will be tested. Some will be tested so that we can know we are stronger than we might believe. Others of us may be tested so that we will know that we are still weak and that we must put more energy into growing our faith and loyalty to God. God tests the heart, not for His benefit, but for ours.
If you have had a recent failure in regard to SSA, don’t let it discourage you. Instead, let it bring you to a greater determination to build up your faith, your defenses, your determination to spend more time building God’s house, as we discussed yesterday.
Prayer: Father, forgive me for being so stupid as to think that I was above any vulnerability. I thank You for all the kinds of testing which You have allowed in my life. Thank You especially for those tests which I passed instead of failed. You know what is best even when I don’t have a clue.