Question: "Why does God test us?"
Answer: When we ask why God tests us or allows us to be tested, we are admitting that testing does indeed come from Him. When God tests His children, He does a valuable thing. David sought God’s testing, asking Him to examine his heart and mind and see that they were true to Him (Psalm 26:2; 139:23). When Abram was tested by God in the matter of sacrificing Isaac, Abram obeyed (Hebrews 11:17–19) and showed to all the world that he is the father of faith (Romans 4:16).
In both the Old and New Testaments, the words translated “test” mean “to prove by trial.” Therefore, when God tests His children, His purpose is to prove that our faith is real. Not that God needs to prove it to Himself since He knows all things, but He is proving to us that our faith is real, that we are truly His children, and that no trial will overcome our faith.
In His Parable of the Sower, Jesus identifies the ones who fall away as those who receive the seed of God’s Word with joy, but, as soon as a time of testing comes along, they fall away. James says that the testing of our faith develops perseverance, which leads to maturity in our walk with God (James 1:3–4). James goes on to say that testing is a blessing, because, when the testing is over and we have “stood the test,” we will “receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him” (James 1:12). Testing comes from our heavenly Father who works all things together for good for those who love Him and who are called to be the children of God (Romans 8:28).
The testing or trials we undergo come in various ways. Becoming a Christian will often require us to move out of our comfort zones and into the unknown. Perseverance in testing results in spiritual maturity and completeness. This is why James wrote, “Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds” (James 1:2). The testing of faith can come in small ways and daily irritations; they may also be severe afflictions (Isaiah 48:10) and attacks from Satan (Job 2:7). Whatever the source of the testing, it is to our benefit to undergo the trials that God allows.
The account of Job is a perfect example of God’s allowing one of His saints to be tested by the devil. Job bore all his trials patiently and “did not sin by charging God with wrongdoing” (Job 1:22). However, the account of Job’s testing is proof that Satan’s ability to try us is limited by God’s sovereign control. No demon can test or afflict us with beyond what God has ordained. All our trials work toward God’s perfect purpose and our benefit.
There are many examples of the positive results of being tested. The psalmist likens our testing to being refined like silver (Psalm 66:10). Peter speaks of our faith as “of greater worth than gold,” and that’s why we “suffer grief in all kinds of trials” (1 Peter 1:6–7). In testing our faith, God causes us to grow into strong disciples who truly live by faith and not by what we see (2 Corinthians 5:7).
When we experience the storms of life, we should be like the tree that digs its roots ever more deeply for a greater grip in the earth. We must “dig our roots” more deeply into God’s Word and cling to His promises so we can weather whatever storms come against us.
Most comforting of all, we know that God will never allow us to be tested beyond what we are able to handle by His power. His grace is sufficient for us, and His power is made perfect in our weakness (2 Corinthians 12:9). “That is why,” Paul said, “for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”
Recommended Resource: Knowing God by J.I. Packer https://www.gotquestions.org/why-does-god-test-us.html
Let us also consider how a man, who is known for his integrity, approaches God's testing in his life…
“As a result of his clear conscience, he is open to the testing and judgment of God. Instead of resisting the eyes of the Lord, he invites them. Guilty men, on the other hand, feel threatened by the scrutiny of God’s Word. They get angry at those who hold them accountable. But an honorable man has no fear of things like marital scandal, misappropriation of funds, or little white lies—because none of those are present in his life to take him down. He knows trust is built and gained over a lifetime, but it can be squandered and lost in a moment. Even when a man of integrity sins, he doesn’t deny it, cover up, or hide it. His mode of operation is to confess it, learn from it, and move on, seeking to avoid it in the future…The heat of God's Word and the temptations and trials of life will reveal over time whether we are truly sincere before God or not…When God looked at Job’s life, He could honestly say, ‘There is no one like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, fearing God and turning away from evil’ (Job 1:8). Even when Job lost everything, even when his wife said to him, ‘Do you still hold fast your integrity? Curse God and die!' (Job 2:9), he continued to honor God in the midst of intense suffering, depression, and pain. He heroically said, ‘As long as my breath is in me, and the breath of God is in my nostrils, my lips certainly will not speak unjustly, nor will my tongue utter deceit…Till I die I will not put away my integrity from me’ (Job 27:3-5).” (From the book: The Resolution for Men, pp. 191-195).
Nate Smith is a college baseball and football coach, a husband, a father of 6 girls, grandpa to 3 granddaughters, a police chaplain, and has a passion to see men grow in Christ.
#girldad including granddaughter