God, The Great Tester -- By: Richard Lanser
God, The Great Tester
Putting together this magazine with a tiny staff and a few volunteers is a challenge, humanly speaking. It is only because God involves Himself in the process that ABR is able to publish it with any regularity, filling each issue with materials that build up believers and give people clear reasons their faith rests on a firm foundation of truth.
The process of getting each issue out is seldom straight forward! It sometimes tests our faith as we often approach the magazine deadline with what seems to be inadequate material to fill its pages. We do not fill it with column after column packed with ads and “fluff,” as is the case with so many magazines these days. God has proven faithful in providing a full slate of articles for each issue, though as editor I have often wished the process was less down-to-the-wire. Editing this magazine, for me, is often a test that calls for perseverance and trust in His provision.
This thought, together with a recent sermon at church and one of the articles within this issue, brings me to a consideration of God as the Great Tester. A few weeks ago our pastor began a series on the book of James, and it has been a bit deeper than that short book might lead one to expect. James 1:2-4, 12 tells us (NASB):
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 my be perfect 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.
Our pastor drew our attention to two things in this passage. First, it is normal for Christians to get tested in this life; the question is not IF trials and tests will come, but WHEN. They are a given! And second, these trials are “of many kinds.” It is our lot in life to very rarely be dealing with just a single testing situation at a time, but rather, “when it rains it pours.”
These facts seem counter-intuitive to most young Christians. When they are saved, they are thrilled that God has shown a personal interest in them He had not manifested before. And well they should! But the flip side of this is that God seems to become all the more intent on using various trials and tests to develop our spiritual muscles. Some new Christians are surprised that they still encounter difficulties, and perhaps even more severe than in their BC days. After all, doesn’t Jesus say in John 10:10, “I have come that they might have life, and have it to the full”...
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