My prayer, more accurately my crying out, to the Lord was plain and clear and, in my estimate anyway, a prayer He should have responded to immediately with changing His mind, His plan, His will, so I could relax, feel good, and be comfortable. Safe and secure. Me, me, me. Yes, it was all about me.
“I know you are testing me. I just don’t want to be tested!” I exclaimed in writing to Him my little prayer. “Help me pass the test!” I just had to add that special request. After all, if He wasn’t going to change His mind about all that uncomfortable, hard testing, then surely He would help me get through the testing. I desperately needed help passing, no doubt.
“I am testing you for a reason,” the Holy Spirit spoke to my heart a little while later. “I am preparing you for where I am taking you. I have a purpose in this as I do in all things.”
Friend, when God tests us, He has a reason for doing so. A good teacher tests students after teaching them with the ultimate goal of the students learning and being able to put into practice what they learn. The students are to grow in the process of their learning. They are being prepared for something whether for further education, jobs, how to conduct themselves in life, how to raise children, how to do any number of things. The students should be transformed in the process in one manner or another.
God calls His followers not to be conformed to this world but to be transformed. We are to be conformed to His image. He does this by the power of His Holy Spirit through renewing our minds with the Bible. Along the way, He tests us as He perfects His ways in us and makes us more and more like Himself.
We can pridefully, rebelliously, and foolishly resist and refuse His teaching and testing, or we can humble ourselves before Him, yield to His Holy Spirit, and undergo the transformation He desires to perform in us through the necessary teaching – and testing!
If you’re anything like I am, you need plenty of love, mercy, grace, comfort, strengthening, and encouragement along the way. That, friend, we can find in and through the Lord and the Bible as well as from fellow Jesus followers who walk alongside us as we learn day by day to believe in and faithfully follow the Lord now and forevermore, AMEN!
“My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.” James 1:2-4 NKJV
“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” Romans 12:1-2 NKJV
“Nevertheless when one turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.” 2 Corinthians 3:16-18 NKJV
“For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren.” Romans 8:29