Bruce Collins, Evangelist

The personal website of Bruce Collins

Meditation for the week of January 6, 2008

Genesis 22:1 Now it came to pass after these things that God tested Abraham, and said to him, “Abraham!” And he said, “Here I am.”
Matthew 4:1 Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted (tested) by the devil.

Many years ago, the phone rang late at night after I had gone to bed. I woke up and answered it, thinking that there must be an emergency. The call, however, was to read a telegram to me telling me that I had passed the C.P.A. Exam. Telegrams were sent to successful candidates in those years and Western Union felt this telegram was too important to hold until morning. I had passed what I thought was THE TEST!

When we sign on to be Christians, most of us do not realize that we are signing on to be tested as well. The Lord allows us to be tested to prove to Satan and to the angels and to other people that we are real and faithful. Satan tests us to see if he can trip us up. I wonder how well we are doing with these tests?

Abraham was tested by God to prove His faithfulness. His was a test to see if He would trust the Lord to keep His promises. Isaac was conceived according to the promise of the Lord after both he and Sarah were too old to have children. Abraham was supposed to have a lot of children through Isaac. Now the Lord was telling Abraham to offer his Son Isaac on an altar. This did not make sense. God demanded animal sacrifice, not human sacrifice. Even though the natural mind would have said that God would not ask for this sacrifice, Abraham obeyed with the expectation that God was going to raise Isaac from the dead (Hebrews 11:19). Abraham has always been an example of faith. He passed THE TEST.

Satan tested Job but apparently God allowed it because he knew he could trust Job with a trial. Satan thought Job worshiped God because God has blessed him with wealth and with health and with a nice family. When all those things were stripped from him, Job still remained faithful. His wife failed THE TEST (Job 2:9, 10), but he passed.

The Lord was tested at the beginning of His earthly ministry and again at the end. The first test was in the wilderness and the last test was in the Garden of Gethsemane. God did not allow Satan to test the Lord because He thought He would fail. He tested Him to prove to Satan and to us that He was the real deal. One of the tests in the wilderness was to see if the Lord would be willing to take the kingdoms of this world without going to the cross. All the Lord had to do was to sell Himself to the Devil (Matthew 4:9). In His last test in the Garden, He was “delivered from death” according to Hebrews 5:7. In the garden the Lord had said that His soul was exceeding sorrowful, even unto death (Matthew 26:38). I think Satan was trying to convince him to die and to avoid the cross. But of course, the Lord passed THE TESTS.

We are to “count it all joy” when we fall into various tests (James 1:2). The tests will make us stronger according to James. The genuineness of our faith will be clearly seen through tests according to Peter (1 Peter 1:7). No one likes to be tested, but there is a real sense of relief and accomplishment when the test is successfully passed. I can attest to the fact that I was excited when I found out that I had passed the C.P.A. Exam. But there is another exam I want to pass. Angels are observing our faithfulness in worship (1 Corinthians 11:10). Men are wondering if we really believe what we say we believe. Satan doesn’t understand why anyone would worship God without a self-serving interest. Are we going to be among those that the Lord can trust with a test to show that we will be faithful? We don’t always go through trials because we have done something wrong although that could be the case. Often we go through trials because the Lord knows that we can be trusted to trust Him, even when we don’t understand why we are being tested.

If something is happening in our lives that we do not understand and if we have trusted the Lord to take care of us for eternity, will we be faithful during the test? Can we have peace about the fact that God is using us to advance His purposes? Will we pass THE TEST?

Bruce Collins

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