2 Cor 13:5 -- Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you--unless, of course, you fail the test?
Call it an exam, call it pruning, call it pressing out the wine from the grape, but God is always working through you, calling you to conform ever more closely to His image. If we do not examine ourselves daily, He will put us in situations where we are forced to confront ourselves. There really is no middle ground: we are either in the faith, walking with Him, or we are off the path and missing the mark. The Lord desires that we bear good fruit, and this comes only from His pruning process. Now, this process isn't just a random hacking and slashing at our lives, even though it may feel that way sometimes. No, the Lord sees our hearts, and He knows what should remain and what should be trimmed away.
An exam is not a form of punishment. Any good teacher uses exams to measure students' progress. So when you find yourself in trials and you will remember that God has a purpose for examining you. So like a good student of the Most High God, "Study to show thyself approved" by testing or examining yourself. If you can mature and learn to identify where you are not in God's will, your walk with Him will be more consistent . He will keep you in perfect peace if your mind is fixed upon Him. Examine yourself to see if there are any obstacles preventing you from having a clear view of your precious Savior.