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<< Encouragement for Today

Encouragement for Today - Nov. 7, 2006

  • 2006 Nov 07
  • COMMENTS

 

November 7, 2006

 

Encouragement for Today

 

Principle 1

 

“Thanking God for Tests”

Glynnis Whitwer, Senior Editor – “P31 Woman Magazine,” Proverbs 31 Speaker Team Member

 

Key Verse:

James 1:2-3, “Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.”  (NIV)

 

Devotion:

My son sauntered from his room, proudly announcing he was ready for his test the next day.  “I’ve studied all my notes, and I’m gonna ace that test,” he proclaimed.

 

“Great!” I replied.  “Grab your notes and let me give you a little quiz.”

 

We settled down at the kitchen table and I proceeded to ask questions.  One question after another was met with a shaky answer, most of them wrong.  With his inadequate preparation revealed, he headed back to his room, notes in hand.   After another period of study, he did indeed sail through the questions.

 

The pop quiz I gave made my son very uncomfortable.  He was sad that he wasn’t ready, and sadder that he had to go back and study harder.  My intent was certainly not to hurt his feelings, but to reveal the weak areas of his study so he could tighten the gaps and be ready for the real test. 

 

Just as I tested my son, God tests me.  He often puts me in uncomfortable positions to uncover weak areas.  God doesn’t point out my weakness to take advantage of me.  Instead, His testing is to reveal areas that need work, so I will be strong enough to persevere and eventually succeed in what He’s called me to do. 

 

God uses all kinds of life situations to test us.  Testing can take the form of difficult people in our lives, times of waiting, or a challenge to step outside our comfort zone to be obedient.   Will we avoid the situation?  Will we suffer through it and quit because it’s too hard?  Or will we persevere and overcome?

 

We might think God gets frustrated with us when we “fail” a test.  I sometimes wonder if God wants to give up on me when I repeat the same mistakes.  But just because my son didn’t know the answers on our mini-quiz didn’t mean I would give up on him.  Just the opposite!   I wanted him to succeed and was willing to give him test after test to make sure he was ready. 

 

God’s testing can be to prepare us for something more important, and often more difficult.  He wants to see if we can sustain the pressure in preparation for something big.  So, the next time your Heavenly Father calls you up for a pop-quiz, consider His desire to see you succeed.  If a weakness is revealed, thank Him for helping you move to the next level by strengthening you.

 

My Prayer for Today:

Precious Lord, thank You for caring enough about my character and life to test me.  Help me to see Your testing as a sign of Your love, and to be thankful for it.  I pray for strength through Your Holy Spirit to walk in obedience and persevere.  In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

 

Application Steps:

Identify one difficult situation in your life.  Determine to see it as a test of your faith.  Ask God for strength to persevere.

 

Reflection Points:

Read Deuteronomy 8:1-5.  What testing did the Lord put upon the Israelites?

 

According to the Scripture, what was God’s purpose for this testing?

 

What life situations have you recently experienced that might have been a time of testing?

 

Can you see God’s purpose in this testing? 

 

Was a personal weakness revealed?  If so, how do you think God wants you to address this weakness?

 

Power Verses:

Luke 8:13, “Those on the rock are the ones who receive the word with joy when they hear it, but they have no root. They believe for a while, but in the time of testing they fall away.” (NIV)

 

1 Corinthians 3:12-13, “If any man builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, his work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each man's work.” (NIV)

 

Exodus 16:4, “Then the LORD said to Moses, "I will rain down bread from heaven for you. The people are to go out each day and gather enough for that day. In this way I will test them and see whether they will follow my instructions.” (NIV)

 

Deuteronomy 8:2, “Remember how the LORD your God led you all the way in the desert these forty years, to humble you and to test you in order to know what was in your heart, whether or not you would keep his commands.” (NIV)

 

Additional Resources:

Radically Obedient, Radically Blessed by Lysa TerKeurst

 

What Happens When Women Walk In Faith by Lysa TerKeurst

 

P31 Woman Magazine

 

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