Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. (1 Tim. 6:17-18)

Monday, November 30, 2009

Everything Is A Test

I recently watched a movie called The Recruit, which contained a number of "nuggets" of life truth woven into the movie.

For a synopsis of the movie, click here.

Throughout the script, a key point that is driven into all the CIA recruits' heads as they enter training is this: everything is a test. As each recruit is placed into a unique situation, paired with a partner, or forced to make a difficult decision, they need to place everything that they are experiencing in the context of a test of their knowledge, skill, decision making abilities, and fortitude.

The same can also be said about the Christian life. Everyone and everything we encounter could be considered some type of test. Take the following scenarios as probable life tests:
  1. Job Loss. This situation could be a test of your faith on a number of levels. Perhaps the Lord is wanting to see your reliance on Him for physical provision. Maybe God has a better position or business opportunity out there waiting for you.
  2. Money Problems. The Lord is looking for excellent money managers. Everything you have is not yours, it's all His. Have you run into financial difficulties because you have been acting like it's all yours? Run your family's finances according to the principles of money management found in God's Word. Manage well what He has given to you at the moment and trust in Him to provide more for the future. Now it is required that those who have been given a trust must prove faithful (I Corinthians 4:2).
  3. Marital Problems. Problems in your marriage test how deep your love and commitment is for your spouse. At the first sign of trouble, are you going to duck and run, blaming all of your difficulties on your spouse? Do you have the emotional and spiritual strength to take a stand and heal the marriage. Is God trying to teach you something? Is God trying to develop the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22) in your life? Allow God to heal the hurt and pain in your relationship. Forgiveness is another great lesson we can all learn. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you (Colossians 3:13).
  4. Divorce. Separation and divorce are huge challenges, especially if you have been the faithful spouse and your spouse has been wayward. Only you can control you and make right choices. Do all you can to heal the relationship, but if your spouse will not return, work on your relationship with the Lord. Allow Him to bring healing to your soul and be a friend that sticks closer than a brother (Proverbs 18:24). Don't create another dysfunctional marriage by jumping into another relationship because you're lonely and needy. Relationships don't solve problems.
  5. Difficult Children. I believe that many of us have been blessed with children to mature us, teach us more about ourselves, and pay us back for whatever problems we created for our parents (only half-joking on that one)! If you're having problems with your kids, just look in the mirror. The majority of the time, you are the problem and also the solution. Work on yourself, first. Gain control of your emotions and parenting process. Dr. Kevin Leman has a variety of books on parenting that I highly recommend.
  6. Death. The death of any loved one is the number one, stress-producing life event you will ever encounter. If your loved one has a personal relationship with Christ, you can rest in the knowledge that you will see them once again in heaven. Those of us who know the Lord will ultimately end up in a way better place than here!
Some of our life tests are going to be large ones like the list above. Most, though, are going to be those small, daily challenges that we encounter on a regular basis. Are you making right choices with the small tests in life? Better decision-making in the small tests will build our character and prepare us for the bigger events to come.

Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything... Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love Him (James 1: 2-4; 12).

No comments:

Post a Comment