“Do you remember how the Lord led you through the wilderness for all those 40 years, humbling you and testing you to find out how you would respond, and whether or not you would really obey Him?” (Deuteronomy 8:2 TLB)
Moses recounts the purpose of the wilderness and reveals that God tested them to see how they would respond. Unfortunately, they consistently complained and rebelled against God. As a result, they forfeited their promotion into the Promised Land. Again, the testing was to see how they would respond. Because they failed the test, a whole generation of Israelites died in the wilderness.
God orchestrates times of testing to see how we will respond. Tests locate a person. They reveal the true condition of your heart. The word “test” actually means, “A procedure intended to establish the quality, performance or reliability of something, especially before it is taken into widespread use.” Other words for “test” include “examination, experiment, check and trial.”
I travel thousands of miles on an airplane every year. I have complete confidence boarding a plane because I am very aware that before the plane was released for widespread use, it first went through a rigorous and exhaustive amount of testing. From the earliest stages of design, these tests were done to ensure its quality, performance and reliability to transport passengers safely to any given destination. In a similar manner, God tests us to see if He can trust us.
The apostle Paul shared how he was tested to be trusted as a messenger. Because of this testing period, he was free from pretense and false motives: “God tested us thoroughly to make sure we were qualified to be trusted with this Message. Be assured that when we speak to you we’re not after crowd approval—only God approval. Since we’ve been put through that battery of tests, you’re guaranteed that both we and the Message are free of error, mixed motives or hidden agendas” (1 Thessalonians 2:3–5 MSG).
How you respond or react under pressure reveals the real you. Just like the Israelites, we all have life-defining moments. They are like open-book tests, but we don’t know we have been examined until it is over.
Can you be trusted?
This article originally appeared here.