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Testing.

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Have you ever stopped to consider how much the Bible says about people being tested?

Abraham was tested. to see who he loved more, God or his only son.

Heb 11:17; By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac, and he who had received the promises was offering up his only begotten son;

God told Moses He was going to test the Jews to see if they would obey Him.

Exod 16:4 Then the LORD said to Moses, "Behold, I will rain bread from heaven for you; and the people shall go out and gather a day's portion every day, that I may test them, whether or not they will walk in My instruction.

Exod 20:20; Moses said to the people, "Do not be afraid; for God has come in order to test you, and in order that the fear of Him may remain with you, so that you may not sin."

It seems Satan was allowed to test Job.

Job 1:8; The LORD said to Satan, "Have you considered My servant Job? For there is no one like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, fearing God and turning away from evil."
Job 1:9; Then Satan answered the LORD, "Does Job fear God for nothing?
Job 1:10; "Have You not made a hedge about him and his house and all that he has, on every side? You have blessed the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land.
Job 1:11; "But put forth Your hand now and touch all that he has; he will surely curse You to Your face."
Job 1:12; Then the LORD said to Satan, "Behold, all that he has is in your power, only do not put forth your hand on him." So Satan departed from the presence of the LORD.

Job 2:3; The LORD said to Satan, "Have you considered My servant Job? For there is no one like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man fearing God and turning away from evil. And he still holds fast his integrity, although you incited Me against him to ruin him without cause."
Job 2:4; Satan answered the LORD and said, "Skin for skin! Yes, all that a man has he will give for his life.
Job 2:5; "However, put forth Your hand now, and touch his bone and his flesh; he will curse You to Your face."
Job 2:6; So the LORD said to Satan, "Behold, he is in your power, only spare his life."
Job 2:7; Then Satan went out from the presence of the LORD and smote Job with sore boils from the sole of his foot to the crown of his head.

Jeremiah says God tests the righteous.

Jer 20:12; Yet, O LORD of hosts, You who test the righteous, Who see the mind and the heart; Let me see Your vengeance on them; For to You I have set forth my cause.

Zech 13:9; "And I will bring the third part through the fire, 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, 'They are My people,' And they will say, 'The LORD is my God.'"
Isa 48:10; "Behold, I have refined you, but not as silver; I have tested you in the furnace of affliction.

There are quite a few similar verses, but I wont post them here. These are all in the OT, but does God test us, or at least allow us to be tested in the NT?

Jesus Himself was led into the wilderness "by the Holy Spirit" in order to be tested.

Matt 4:1; Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil.

Paul says deacons and overseers in the church should be tested over a period of time.

1 Tim 3:10; These men must also first be tested; then let them serve as deacons if they are beyond reproach.

There were two churches in Revelation that Jesus didn't anything against. One of these two churches (Smyrna) was told...

Rev 2:10; [COLOR=red]'Do not fear what you are about to suffer. Behold, the devil is about to cast some of you into prison, so that you will be tested, and you will have tribulation for ten days. Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life.[/COLOR]

It seems if they pass the test, they will receive the crown of life.

Peter is telling believers there will be times they will have to go through trials in order to be tested.

1 Pet 1:6; In this you greatly rejoice, even though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been distressed by various trials,
1 Pet 1:7; so that the proof of your faith, being more precious than gold which is perishable, even though tested by fire, may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ;
1 Pet 1:8; and though you have not seen Him, you love Him, and though you do not see Him now, but believe in Him, you greatly rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory,
1 Pet 1:9; obtaining as the outcome of your faith the salvation of your souls.

Peter says it is this "proof of your faith" while we are going through trails, troubles and testing that obtains "the salvation of your souls".

... to be continued ...
 
Loyal Member
Paul tell the church at Corinth...

2 Cor 2:8; Wherefore I urge you to reaffirm your love for him.
2 Cor 2:9; For to this end also I wrote, so that I might put you to the test, whether you are obedient in all things.
2 Cor 2:10; But one whom you forgive anything, I forgive also; for indeed what I have forgiven, if I have forgiven anything, I did it for your sakes in the presence of Christ,
2 Cor 2:11; so that no advantage would be taken of us by Satan, for we are not ignorant of his schemes.

It seems Paul is saying even believers can be taken advantage of by Satan. It is interesting that he tells then he is going to "test" their obedience.

2 Cor 13:4; For indeed He was crucified because of weakness, yet He lives because of the power of God. For we also are weak in Him, yet we will live with Him because of the power of God directed toward you.
2 Cor 13:5; Test yourselves to see if you are in the faith; [COLOR=rgb(65, 168, 95)]examine yourselves[/COLOR]! Or do you not recognize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you—unless indeed you fail the test?
2 Cor 13:6; But I trust that you will realize that we ourselves do not fail the test.

Why would Paul them them to test themselves? Why we he tell the church to "examine yourselves"? He goes on to say, Jesus Christ is in you... "UNLESS" you fail the test.

James starts off his book, in the first chapter by saying...

Jas 1:2; Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials,
Jas 1:3; knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance.
Jas 1:4; And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.

We are supposed have joy we we face trials, for it is in these times of trials our faith is being tested. It's all good to say we have faith, but the evidence of our faith
comes during the times of trials. James says it is the testing of our faith that causes us to be "perfect and complete".

... to be continued ...
 
Loyal Member
We all know the story about how Simon Peter denied Jesus three times when Jesus was being crucified. But what was behind this? What caused this?

Luke 22:31; [COLOR=red]"Simon, Simon, behold, Satan has demanded permission to sift you like wheat; [/COLOR]
Luke 22:32; [COLOR=red]but I have prayed for you, that your faith may not fail; and you, when once you have turned again, strengthen your brothers."[/COLOR]
Luke 22:33; But he said to Him, "Lord, with You I am ready to go both to prison and to death!"
Luke 22:34; And He said, [COLOR=red]"I say to you, Peter, the rooster will not crow today until you have denied three times that you know Me." [/COLOR]

It says Satan has "demanded" permission. I have to laugh a little at the irony of that statement, I demand to have "permission". He still has to have permission from God.
Yet it was during this time that Satan was "sifting (Peter) like wheat" that Peter denied Jesus three times.
It it amazing to me, that immediately before this, the disciples are arguing over who is the greatest.

Luke 22:24; And there arose also a dispute among them as to which one of them was regarded to be greatest.
Luke 22:25; And He said to them, [COLOR=red]"The kings of the Gentiles lord it over them; and those who have authority over them are called 'Benefactors.'
Luke 22:26; "But it is not this way with you, but the one who is the greatest among you must become like the youngest, and the leader like the servant.
Luke 22:27; "For who is greater, the one who reclines at the table or the one who serves? Is it not the one who reclines at the table? But I am among you as the one who serves.
Luke 22:28; "You are those who have stood by Me in My trials;
Luke 22:29; and just as My Father has granted Me a kingdom, I grant you
Luke 22:30; that you may eat and drink at My table in My kingdom, and you will sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel.[/COLOR]

Jesus tells them, you are the ones "who have stood by Me, in my trials". (This was immediately before Satan tested Peter).
Therefore, as a reward for this, you will sit on thrones and judge the Jews.

A non-Christian once told me... [COLOR=green]every time we see a Christian fail, it isn't just that person who is failing. It is Jesus who is failing.
If there really was a Jesus, and if Christians really can "do all things through Christ", then why are these people living failed lives?
The fact that there are so many people claiming to be Christians, who are still living lives controlled by sin is proof that Jesus doesn't exist.[/COLOR]

While I may not agree with that statement, I do appreciate his in-sight.
A. W. Tozer said "if we are not changed by grace, then we are not saved by grace."

In other words, if we aren't different than the world when we are being tested, are we different from the world?
As Paul said, Jesus Christ is in us... unless we fail the test.

I'm not saying we have to be 100% perfect) but I do think when the world is watching us go through hard times (tests and trials) they should see evidence of something different.
 
Loyal Member
1 Pet 4:12; Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal among you, which comes upon you for your testing, as though some strange thing were happening to you;
1 Pet 4:13; but to the degree that you share the sufferings of Christ, keep on rejoicing, so that also at the revelation of His glory you may rejoice with exultation.
1 Pet 4:14; If you are reviled for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you.
1 Pet 4:15; Make sure that none of you suffers as a murderer, or thief, or evildoer, or a troublesome meddler;
1 Pet 4:16; but if anyone suffers as a Christian, he is not to be ashamed, but is to glorify God in this name.
1 Pet 4:17; For it is time for judgment to begin with the household of God; and if it begins with us first, what will be the outcome for those who do not obey the gospel of God?
1 Pet 4:18; AND IF IT IS WITH DIFFICULTY THAT THE RIGHTEOUS IS SAVED, WHAT WILL BECOME OF THE GODLESS MAN AND THE SINNER?
1 Pet 4:19; Therefore, those also who suffer according to the will of God shall entrust their souls to a faithful Creator in doing what is right.

Peter wrote a second passage in chapter 4. it says... Don't be surprised when you are being tested.
I wonder how many times I myself have said "why me Lord?" Why do we even ask why bad things happen? Why are we even surprised when trials come?
It seems these are just a part of life. Why do we act as if "some strange thing were happening to you".

There people who give up when life gets hard. There are people who question why God lets bad things happen to them.
People sometimes take these trials and run with them. "A loving God wouldn't allow this to happen to me".
..and yet, it is in these times we have the opportunity to prove our faith. To prove that Christians can "entrust their souls to a faithful Creator".
That we trust Him to do what is good and right, when we do what is good and right. (and sometimes, even when we don't).
 
Loyal Member
Isn't it good to know that God does not tempt, test, or try us? Its all Satan testing our walls, our barriers, our defenses? And when he can't find a way in, we know that we are standing in faith in God.
James 1:12-14

12 How blessed is the man who perseveres through temptation! For after he has passed the test, he will receive as his crown the Life which God has promised to those who love him. 13 No one being tempted should say, “I am being tempted by God.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, and God himself tempts no one. 14 Rather, each person is being tempted whenever he is being dragged off and enticed by the bait of his own desire.
 
Active Member
Isn't it good to know that God does not tempt, test, or try us? Its all Satan testing our walls, our barriers, our defenses? And when he can't find a way in, we know that we are standing in faith in God.
James 1:12-14

12 How blessed is the man who perseveres through temptation! For after he has passed the test, he will receive as his crown the Life which God has promised to those who love him. 13 No one being tempted should say, “I am being tempted by God.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, and God himself tempts no one. 14 Rather, each person is being tempted whenever he is being dragged off and enticed by the bait of his own desire.
That verse speaks to temptation / tempting. Our desire tempts us. Note it doesn't even say 'Satan'.

God does test us. BAC has given many scriptures. It is God's way of drawing us closer to Him. Himself closer to us. He has one window to properly test us. He will use it.

Then, persecution can also be seen as a test. We can call 1000 angels to our defense just as Jesus could, yet God does not send these angels. Rev 2:10 [COLOR=rgb(41, 105, 176)]Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days: be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.[/COLOR]
 
Loyal Member
That verse speaks to temptation / tempting. Our desire tempts us. Note it doesn't even say 'Satan'.

God does test us. BAC has given many scriptures. It is God's way of drawing us closer to Him. Himself closer to us. He has one window to properly test us. He will use it.

Then, persecution can also be seen as a test. We can call 1000 angels to our defense just as Jesus could, yet God does not send these angels. Rev 2:10 [COLOR=rgb(41, 105, 176)]Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days: be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.[/COLOR]
I have noticed that in the Old Covenant God worked differently with his people in many cases than He does in the New Covenant. I think it's because of the Holy Spirit. In the Old Covenant, people did not have the Holy Spirit. Oh, I agree that the Holy Spirit would come on, come over a person now and then for a specific purpose, but the people did not have the Holy Spirit living inside of them all the time as we do. That being the case, perhaps it was necessary for God to set up a test for a person so they could see their state. Or so they could see how God worked in, for, and through them. God did not need to test them for his own information, He already knew how they would fare.
In the New Covenant, we have the Holy Spirit IN us, talking to us, teaching us, sharing His wisdom in us. Because of that, we can know what state we're in. I do not see any areas where God has tested a person in the New Covenant
 
Loyal Member
There are people who question why God lets bad things happen to them
there are preachers who preach all bad things happen to you because of sin in your life, I would have to disagree with that, key word being ALL because I am sure sin does bring on bad things, but sometimes bad things just happen, because of the fall of man kind the curse we are under IMO
 
Active Member
I have noticed that in the Old Covenant God worked differently with his people in many cases than He does in the New Covenant. I think it's because of the Holy Spirit. In the Old Covenant, people did not have the Holy Spirit. Oh, I agree that the Holy Spirit would come on, come over a person now and then for a specific purpose, but the people did not have the Holy Spirit living inside of them all the time as we do. That being the case, perhaps it was necessary for God to set up a test for a person so they could see their state. Or so they could see how God worked in, for, and through them. God did not need to test them for his own information, He already knew how they would fare.
In the New Covenant, we have the Holy Spirit IN us, talking to us, teaching us, sharing His wisdom in us. Because of that, we can know what state we're in. I do not see any areas where God has tested a person in the New Covenant
You make an excellent point. But I feel you need to better grasp the truth to God also testing His people that have the Holy Spirit.

I agree that we don't need to be tested on our acceptance of Jesus. We have already passed that test, evidenced by the indwelling Holy Spirit and being able to call Jesus Lord 1 Cor 12:3. But God does still test us. It is tests aimed at pulling us closer to Him. Him closer to us. Some Christians will be closer to God then others. We will all qualify to be with Him. He will always be there for us. Never show partiality. But still, there will be those that God can entrust more then others. He wants to test us. He wants a closer relationship / as close as possible. These tests are never to destroy us. Or cast us out. Which is why I am a firm believer in OSAS.
 
Active Member
I find the questioning about the source of testing a dead end - it does very little to help overcome evil when we face trouble.

For example, if my friends betray and abandon me, the pertinent question is not whether God or Satan is behind it, but how will I respond. Will I succumb to bitterness, self-pity and vengeance, or will I place my trust in God and allow his forgiveness and compassion to flow through me?

Remember that after failing the test and denying Jesus, Peter was restored and years later was able to write:

Dear friends, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that has come on you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice inasmuch as you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed.
 
Loyal Member
I have noticed that in the Old Covenant God worked differently with his people in many cases than He does in the New Covenant. I think it's because of the Holy Spirit. In the Old Covenant, people did not have the Holy Spirit. Oh, I agree that the Holy Spirit would come on, come over a person now and then for a specific purpose, but the people did not have the Holy Spirit living inside of them all the time as we do. That being the case, perhaps it was necessary for God to set up a test for a person so they could see their state. Or so they could see how God worked in, for, and through them. God did not need to test them for his own information, He already knew how they would fare.
Perhaps, but it seems there are twice as many verses about being in the new testament as there are in the old testament.
Also, do we always listen to the Holy Spirit?
 
Loyal Member
I find the questioning about the source of testing a dead end - it does very little to help overcome evil when we face trouble.
I agree. Where the testing comes from doesn't always matter.
Bad decisions, bad situations, bad relationships... Maybe it's God, maybe it's God using Satan, maybe it's God using situations and the circumstances around us...
Everyone goes through trials.... everyone. It doesn't matter if you're rich, poor, black, white, man, woman, tall or short..... at some point you will face testings and trials.
The question is.... what are you doing to do in the time of testing?
 
Loyal Member
So a big question is this..

1. What is some real world examples of testing??
------- Seems to me any type of temptation is testing. (at least one form of testing)
------ So then we will have people say God does not tempt us, which is in the bible However does God allow for testing?? God is in control of everything, what I mean by that is nothing happens that he does not
know about. and allow to happen.


this verse of scripture is pretty clear that God allows us to be tempted, so he may no be the one doing it, but he does allow it.

1 Corinthians 10:13
No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and [COLOR=rgb(184, 49, 47)]he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.[/COLOR]

What I have come to realize is Gods ways are far from mans ways, so if we think like a man no way are we going to understand God, God allows for us to be tempted, therefore it must be good for us to Grow in faith. That sure does not seem good from a flesh stand point, but from a spirit stand point growing in faith is what its all about. (no way are we going to fully understand God anyway we try IMO) but we are to trust in him in every way, that is faith
 
Loyal Member
You find a wallet on the ground, it has a drivers license with an address in it. It also has quite a bit on money in it.
What do you do?

Your married, and old girlfriend calls you and says she is in town, she wants to meet you for dinner.
What do you do?

Two Mormons knock on your door and want to "share Jesus" with you.
What do you do?

Your computer pops up a screen that invites to go look at naked women.
What do you do?

Someone tells you Christians are intolerant because they think Jesus is the only way to heaven.
What do you do?

There is a man standing on the corner, begging for money. You only have $10.00 in your wallet.
What do you do?

Your gay/lesbian friend doesn't want to go to your church, because it's too intolerant, they invite you to their "progressive" church.
What do you do?

You catch your teenage daughter in bed with her boyfriend.
What do you do?

Your new father and mother in law come over for dinner, they pull out a marijuana pipe and ask if you mind if they smoke. (It's legal in this state)
What do you do?

The alcoholic that crashed into you and killed a family member comes to you and asks you to forgive him.
What do you do?

These are just a few examples of things guys in my mens group have asked us to pray about in the last month.
Maybe the answers are obvious to you, but I assure you, they aren't obvious to everyone.

There are things we have no control over.

I lost my job, my wife left me, my mom died, my kids hate me, the dog ran off, my car broke down, I was in a car accident and the insurance wont pay,
These are just examples... but at some point, something bad happens... life happens. The question is... what do you do?
 
Loyal Member
recently studying the book of revelation Jesus had told every church to endure to the end. Even the churches he did not rebuke he said endure to the end.

I like this thread because I see a some preachers saying life should be wonderful and we should all be healthy and rich and if your not its your own fault, because of sin, I simply do not agree with that, the bible is clear we are going to face testing tribulations hard times, Jesus warns us of that, and instructs us to endure to the end to be faithful, take up are cross daily.
 
Loyal Member
Sometimes the testing isn't for our benefit. In the book of Job, I believe Job's testing was more for the benefit of Satan than it was for Job.

Here is another example of testing... for someone elses benefit.

I know a lady who used to be married to a missionary, he passed away everal years back. She is short, overweight, and elderly. (So what does that have to do with anything?)
One day she is driving down the road and a voice says pull over and stand on your head.
She is thinking... huh? Why? So she drives a little further.
She recognizes this voice, she's heard it before. It isn't audible, but it's there. Again it says... pull over and stand on your head.
Now she is thinking... huh? That's silly, God wouldn't tell me to do that. So she drives a little further.
A third time the voice comes, and says pull over and stand on your head.

So she pulls into a gas station, walks over to a pop machine and ... stands on her head. As you can imagine, this isn't easy for an overweight elderly lady. She doesn't do it very good.
She falls over a couple of times, but she eventually gets there. Then she says out loud.. "OK, God here I am".

A man walks out from behind the counter at the gas station, he throws a gun on the ground, and falls to his knees and starts crying.
He tells the lady (still standing on her head) that he's not a Christian, but he just got done telling God, that if He (God) doesn't want me to kill myself, someone is going
to have to come stand on their head in front of this pop machine in the next ten minutes.

I have to ask myself, am I that in tune with the Spirit? Would I be obedient if I heard the voice? There have been times I wasn't.

She asks him if he believes in Jesus. The man answers... I do now. She prays the sinners prayer with him, and gives him her phone number. She invites him to church.
He is a youth pastor today.

So was the testing for her benefit, or his? Maybe both, but who benefited the most?
Now you may say... well what if she didn't go stand on her head, would she have gone to hell if she wouldn't have obeyed? Maybe not... but what about the man behind the counter.
 
Active Member
My life isn't wonderful at the moment. I was working in a temporary position until the end of last year with an excellent Christian organisation. I worked hard and did everything I could to give my fullest to the role. Very good relationships with everybody there, and I thought that I'd secured a permanent post that would fit my skills and fill a much-needed gap. But it fell through.

Now I'm searching for work, on my own for most of the day, and getting nowhere fast, it seems. Jobs that I'm ideally suited for seem to pass me by. I'm a good hard worker, got plenty of skills to offer, but at the moment I'm not achieving too much at all.

So the test for me is, how do I respond to God in all of this? Do I assume that he's temporarily forgotten about me, and get frustrated and bitter about how I feel I've been let down. Or fall back on the reassurance that he has the hope of ages secured in me and that he will not let me down.

One thing that's worth noting is that a lot of the situations above are one-in-a-moment scenarios. Much of the time the testing is drawn out over a longer period. For me, every day - a few times each day - I have to remind myself that I can trust in God and to continue being faithful to him.
 
Active Member
You find a wallet on the ground, it has a drivers license with an address in it. It also has quite a bit on money in it.
What do you do?

Your married, and old girlfriend calls you and says she is in town, she wants to meet you for dinner.
What do you do?

Two Mormons knock on your door and want to "share Jesus" with you.
What do you do?

Your computer pops up a screen that invites to go look at naked women.
What do you do?

Someone tells you Christians are intolerant because they think Jesus is the only way to heaven.
What do you do?

There is a man standing on the corner, begging for money. You only have $10.00 in your wallet.
What do you do?

Your gay/lesbian friend doesn't want to go to your church, because it's too intolerant, they invite you to their "progressive" church.
What do you do?

You catch your teenage daughter in bed with her boyfriend.
What do you do?

Your new father and mother in law come over for dinner, they pull out a marijuana pipe and ask if you mind if they smoke. (It's legal in this state)
What do you do?

The alcoholic that crashed into you and killed a family member comes to you and asks you to forgive him.
What do you do?

These are just a few examples of things guys in my mens group have asked us to pray about in the last month.
Maybe the answers are obvious to you, but I assure you, they aren't obvious to everyone.

There are things we have no control over.

I lost my job, my wife left me, my mom died, my kids hate me, the dog ran off, my car broke down, I was in a car accident and the insurance wont pay,
These are just examples... but at some point, something bad happens... life happens. The question is... what do you do?
Good examples of real life tests. I like your idea @Dave M that we need real life examples of what we are talking about.

In my opinion, in none of the instances above is God doing the testing (except maybe the alcoholic/forgiveness one... is He trying to bring about reconciliation, which is one of His specialties? But not a specific "test" from Him... I don't know) ....

However I believe He is very interested in "what do you do" when you are tested and tried. And He has promised to help us through it.

I would like to learn more on this subject. If there are those who believe that God directly tests a Christian, I would like a real-life example described.
 
Active Member
We don't know the source of our testing - God, the devil, or just the way life rolls out.

But God very directly tested Abraham. I don't see why it couldn't happen today.
 

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