Do you remember what your response was the last time the Lord gave you a “test”?
Life is full of tests. More often than not, life’s tests are untimely and we often don’t even recognize a problem as a test until it is over. But each one is allowed by God and will turn out to our good if we respond correctly. (Remember Hebrews 12?!)
I was reminded of this recently as Grandpa and I put together a collection of the gold presidential coins that came out this year. Both of us wore cotton gloves, being careful not to let the acid from our hands ever come in contact with the shiny surface of the coins.
As we discussed the differences of pure gold and the alloys (mixed metals) used in these coins, Grandpa mentioned one way to tell whether a coin was truly gold or not—simply apply a drop of strong acid. He said the alloys would respond to the acid by fizzing and bubbling up. Real gold on the other hand would not be agitated at all.
Suddenly I realized there was an analogy. Physically speaking, we have an important acid-alkaline balance in our bodies and just as having a high level of acidity is unhealthy, high alkaline levels are just as unhealthy. As a matter of fact my brief study indicated an average healthy pH is slightly lower (more acidic) than the neutral point determined by water at 7.0.
For good reason then, God will allow the right amount of “acid-tests” in our spiritual life. They test our gold and prove whether the character we think we have is pure or not in His sight. Our tests will either make us bitter people or better people! And as we grow in our relationship with the Lord, let’s expect the dynamic balance between His affirmation and conviction. Then we will come forth as gold. "Turn you at my reproof: behold, I will pour out My Spirit unto you I will make know My words unto you" (Proverbs 1:23).
What a wonderful, convicting post. I have been reflecting often lately about how difficulties in life can act as a source of growth in holiness. This post really reinforced that!
Thanks Donald, that’s a great analogy and a good reminder of the real purpose of testing/temptations!
That is such a good way to picture trials. They show us what needs refined in our life.
This was such a timely post. Thank you Donald for this encouragement to keep our focus on Christ always, no matter what the test may be!
I am so new to this blog, but I was reading back and ran into this post. I cannot begin to tell you how much the Lord has worked in my life over the past year of uncertainty and at times, hardship. I am uncertain if the Lord “tests” us to see what we will do, rather He does allow trails in our lives to take place thereby refining us and providing opportunity for spiritual growth. I know the past year as done so much to remind me to lean on Him and not on my own understanding. When life gets busy and tough at times, this basic tenant of our faith can get covered up and shoved aside without diligently staying right with Him in prayer, scripture, and sometimes literally reminding ourselves that He is directing our paths.
In Christ, Lori