“What are human beings, that you make so much of them,
that you set your mind on them,
visit them every morning,
test them every moment?”
— Job 7:17-18 (NRSV)
Many people might find this a strange message—that God tests us. But it is my belief, which is joined with the belief of many other Christians, that God tests us, but in the opposite way to how the devil tests us. I believe God tests us in ways he knows we can succeed, and, as he wills us to succeed, we grow not only in faith, but also by the knowledge of the Holy Spirit’s leadership in our lives.
To be led by the Holy Spirit is to believe that every moment of life is a test of obedience, before the audience of One. Never does life have more purpose than when we fully believe God is present, leading us by his Spirit, and urging us on in obedience to his leadership.
When everything is a positive test, and we know we can succeed, life has got great significance and holy purpose.
Acknowledging God’s Presence in All Things
Noticing coincidences, whilst it might appear we are kooky, is noticing God’s action in and through the flow of life. Quietly noticing coincidences, without orchestrating them, is acknowledging God’s Presence and giving God credit for his leadership of our lives.
We needn’t worry about God showing up, because God is already here, working in our lives, and active through all creation, at all times and in all ways.
Performing (Living) Before the King of Kings
This, here, is a critical knowledge. Truly, we must discern what is from God.
But everything can be seen from God. We can reframe our understanding back to God’s will for us—to respond as well as we can—regarding all of our life events. All we need to see is that God desires for us to look to him and respond well, so he can make good, often in the moment, and certainly eventually, out of the bad things that occur.
When we see that something is from God, and not from the devil, we feel privileged to perform at God’s court—which, in this life, is to imagine we are living both actively and passively right before God’s sight; which is true in any event.
In other words, despite pain and sadness, for which we are to be emotionally real, we can experience fleeting bouts of true joy because we are seen and approved by the King of Kings.
There’s comfort available from God when we are tested, because we have nothing less than God’s full Presence and encouraging sponsorship and leadership as we follow obediently. Nobody wants us to survive (and thrive through) our tests more than God. For this we can be delighted.
© 2012 S. J. Wickham.