Students take tests to measure their learning and progress. Sports teams talk about games against challenging opponents as games that test the caliber of the team. Tests can be easy or difficult, long or short. When you are prepared for them they can be very rewarding as you pass the test.
Life’s tests have a purpose. God intends for the tests to reveal to you His blessings, draw you closer to Him, and allow you to be a witness for Christ to the world. Let’s talk about the blessing of testing.
1 Peter 4:12-19
12 Dear friends, don’t be surprised when the fiery ordeal comes among you to test you as if something unusual were happening to you. 13 Instead, rejoice as you share in the sufferings of the Messiah, so that you may also rejoice with great joy at the revelation of His glory. 14 If you are ridiculed for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you. 15 None of you, however, should suffer as a murderer, a thief, an evildoer, or a meddler. 16 But if anyone suffers as a “Christian,” he should not be ashamed but should glorify God in having that name. 17 For the time has come for judgment to begin with God’s household, and if it begins with us, what will the outcome be for those who disobey the gospel of God? 18 And if a righteous person is saved with difficulty, what will become of the ungodly and the sinner? 19 So those who suffer according to God’s will should, while doing what is good, entrust themselves to a faithful Creator.
Blessing #1 — in the midst of the test, you will realize that you are not alone (vv12-14). The Lord is with you in the midst of your fiery ordeal. You are not experiencing something that is only happening to you. Many people are facing struggles too, verbal or physical persecution because of their faith in Christ. When you are being tested in this way, you are in good company. You are sharing in the sufferings of the Messiah, who suffered and died for you. And His Holy Spirit strengthens, encourages and guides you in the midst of your trials.
Blessing #2 — your test is an opportunity to glorify God (vv15-16). Now certainly you should not participate in sinful or unlawful activities such as murder, theft, or other evildoing. Rather, you should live your life as an unashamed follower of Jesus. And if living your life as a Christian causes you to be persecuted then realize that such persecution gives you opportunities to be a witness for Christ. Pass the test. Give glory to God and be grateful for the opportunity.
Blessing #3 — your test draws you closer to God (vv17-19). The eternal outcome for the unbeliever is separation from God for eternity in the pain and torment of hell. But for the follower of Jesus, eternity promises perfect peace in the presence of God. The tests on earth cause you to draw close to your Creator, the one who saved you from your sins. He is faithful. He is with you. He strengthens you. He cares for you. Pass the test. Do what is good. Draw your strength from the Lord. Experience the peace that passes all understanding, as your Creator (who knows you better than you know yourself) helps you pass the test.