The meaning of the word testing is the act of subjecting to an experimental test in order to determine how well something works. A second definition is an examination of the characteristics of something. Another meaning is the act of questioning students or candidates to determine what they know or have learned.

We read in I Peter 1:6-7,"In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ "

Whenever we face trials in life, many times they can become our greatest blessings. Each one teaches us a lesson. We sing a song Will Your Anchor Hold In the Storms of Life. Our anchor is our faith and the storms of life are trials or crises. Is our faith strong enough to help take us safely through the trials? When a person's faith is tested and he /she handles the trials as God wants, our Lord God blesses through those trials. Once we realize that God does not send trials our way to weaken our faith, but to strengthen it, our faith is strengthened as we face these trials.

"And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope. " Romans 5:3-4

A Biblical example of testing used here is Abraham. His faith was tested over and over again. (Genesis 12:1-4) God tested Abraham by telling him to leave his home and go to a far country. " Now the Lord had said to Abraham: ' Get out of your country, from your family and from your father's house, to a land that I will show you. " Genesis 12:1

Then he commanded him to offer his son Isaac. "Now it came to pass after these things that God tested Abraham, and said to him,' Abraham! ' And he said, ' Here I am! ' Then he said, 'Take now your son, your only son, Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I shall tell you.'" Genesis 22:1-2 Abraham was willing to obey, but God stayed his hand to spare the boy's life.

This is another way of looking at the testing of our faith. If we look at this testing as a ladder with each trial being a rung on that ladder, we can accept these trials easier. We can never merit our way to heaven, but our faith grows stronger as we endure each trial. People are careful when they are on a ladder. We need to be careful in handling trials, handling them just as God wants us to. The Devil is constantly putting road hazards in our way. These hazards can be our rungs up the ladder if we handle them correctly.

The Lord tests the righteous, But the wicked and the one who loves violence His soul hates.
Psalm 11:5 (NKJV)

I will bring the one-third through the fire, will refine them as silver is refined, And test them as gold is tested. They will call on My name, And I will answer them. I will say,"This is my people."
Zechariah 13:9 (NKJV)

...who fed you in the wilderness with manna, which your fathers did not know, that He might humble you and that He might test you, to do good in the end
Deuteronomy 8:16 (NKJV)

We need to consider the various ways Job's faith was tested. He lost everything he had and still praised God. How we handle trials reveals our true character to others .. " But He knows the way that I take; When He has tested me, I shall come forth as gold."Job 23:10

Another Biblical example is Moses. When Moses was an infant, his parents hid him so he would escape the king's command for midwives to drown the Hebrew baby boys.

" Then the king of Egypt spoke to the Hebrew midwives, of whom the name of one was Shiphrah and the name of the other was Puah; and he said, ' When you do the duties of a midwife for the Hebrew women, and see them on the birthstools, if it is a son, then you shall kill him; but if it is a daughter, then she shall live.'" Exodus 1:15-16

The midwives as well as the parents of Moses underwent testing and trials.

Years later Moses was asked by God to lead the Israelites out of their bondage in Egypt. We read of Moses' life where he is listed among the faithful in Hebrews 11:23-29.

Our Lord Jesus Christ was tempted, tested, suffered persecution, yes, even death. He is our supreme and ultimate example. We should follow in His steps. We learn in Matthew 4:1," Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. "

Matthew 19:3," The Pharisees also came to Him, testing Him, and saying to Him, ' Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for just any reason?'" They tried time after time to trap him in his words.

It was necessary for Christ to suffer. " Then He said to them, ' Thus it is written, and thus it was necessary for the Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead the third day." Luke 24:46

Discussion and study questions:
(1) Why do we have brushes with testing in our lives?
(2) When we endure various trials, are we able to merit our way into heaven?
(3) When we go through trials, what is noticed by others?
(4) Why do we go through testing of our faith?

Copyright 2007 Linda Lawrence