I don’t like tests.
I always enjoyed going to class (unless it was math or math-related), and I have always loved to learn. But taking tests to prove that I learned it? Not my favorite thing in the world.
Most of the time I would do all right on any test I was given, but usually I would miss silly little things. Easy questions that I really did know the answer to but that I just neglected to really think about in the middle of the test.
I never really thought about this, but that’s kind of like life. When I run into tests in life, I usually do all right. I know quite a few right answers, so I guess I usually score pretty high. But the answers I miss — the problems in life that really trip me up — are simple. They’re easy things. Like not worrying. Like not getting stressed out. Like not getting impatient with people. And I know how to handle those situations. But in the heat of the moment, in the middle of the test, I don’t think a situation through and I choose the wrong answer — like letting my impatience get the better of me or worrying myself into a pit of depression.
Tests will always come out better if you think about the answers you think are right.
The verse this morning truly encouraged me about this.
10 “But he knows where I am going.
And when he tests me, I will come out as pure as gold.
11 For I have stayed on God’s paths;
I have followed his ways and not turned aside.
God knows where we’re going. I can’t even begin to explain how encouraging that is by itself. He knows where we’re going because He knows the future, and because He knows where we’re going, He knows how to help us get ready for what’s coming.
I can’t even begin to tell you how many times I’ve wondered why God allows certain things to happen in my life. And then (usually about ten years later) after I’ve grown up a bit and gotten a little deeper into life, I can look back and see His hand leading me all they way. I can see the reasons why He let me experience things that at the time felt negative or stressful or overwhelming. He was testing me, getting me ready for something bigger and better that He had for me.
God has given us every resource we need to pass any test we face.
We have the Bible, which tells us how to live. We have the Holy Spirit in us, who prays for us and gives us direct access to God. We have God Himself who is on our side and who wants to help us every chance we let Him. If you’ve in a situation today that you don’t know what to do, pray about it. Read the Bible. Ask God to reveal the answers to you. The answers are in there. Maybe it’s cliched, but–seriously–what would Jesus do? Love God. Love people. I know that’s a general statement, but it’s true.
Do the right thing. Do what God says to do. Honor your parents. Don’t frustrate your children. Respect your husband. Love your wife. Obey your bosses. Pay your taxes. Live a life above reproach. Work as though you’re working for God and not for people. Do everything in your life like you’re doing it for God. Keep your perspective straight. There’s so much about how to live in the Bible, and many times people don’t even look for it.
God has set out a path for us to follow. He’s given us directions. He’s not only told us how to live but when Jesus was here, He showed us how to live too. He set down a path for us. So we should get on that path and stay on it. We need to follow Christ and not deviate. That’s what it means to be a Christian. Not being baptized or taking Communion or singing hymns or wearing special clothes or belonging to a church.
Stay on God’s path. Follow His ways. Don’t deviate. Then, when God allows life to test you, you’ll have the answers you need.
Then, you’ll be golden.