In this you greatly rejoice, even though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been distressed by various trials, so that the proof of your faith, being more precious than gold which is perishable, even though tested by fire, may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.
–1 Peter 1:6-7
As we look at Abraham’s obedience to God in Genesis 22, we see three timeless truths about God’s tests in our lives.
Number one: God’s tests may contradict reason. If you haven’t gone through a time of testing, believe me, one is right around the corner for you just like it was for Abraham. When these tests come into your life, it is not because God hates you; it is because He loves you. He wants to strengthen your faith. But many times, when God asks you to do something, it will contradict reason. At such a time, there is only one thing to do: obey. Faith means believing in advance what only makes sense in reverse.
Number two: God’s tests are designed for our strengthening. Unlike Satan’s temptations, which are meant for our destruction, God’s tests are designed to strengthen our faith. In biblical times, whenever a craftsman made gold jewelry, he would take a piece of gold and heat it until it became molten liquid. During that process, the impurities would rise to the surface so that the craftsman could skim them from the top. Only when he could look in that molten gold and see his reflection would the gold be ready to be used for something beautiful. It is the same way in our life. God sends fiery trials into our lives not to destroy us but to purify us. Peter wrote, “In this you greatly rejoice, even though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been distressed by various trials, so that the proof of your faith, being more precious than gold which is perishable, even though tested by fire, may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ” (1 Peter 1:6-7). Some of you are in the furnace of a test right now. God hasn’t forsaken you. He has His eyes on the clock and His hands on the thermostat; He knows how long and how much.
Number three: God’s tests affect the most tender parts of our lives. We often say, “God, I will do whatever You ask me to do”–and in the back of our mind we add, “except.” There is usually one area we curtain off from God. Have you also noticed when God sends a test into your life, He goes right past “whatever You ask” and goes straight toward that one exception? Remember this: When God’s tests come into your life, they always involve those things that are a treasure to us. That’s why David said he would not offer to God that which cost him nothing (1 Chronicles 21:24) When tests come into your life, they will deal with the things you value most: people, positions, or possessions. You know why He does that? Because He is trying to teach us that we will never find contentment in those things. Only God can satisfy our deepest desire.
Today’s devotion is excerpted from “When God Asks the Unthinkable” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2015.
Scripture quotations are taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.