Life the Open Book Test
by Rev. Brian Mathis
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You know one thing that has been constant in my walk with Christ and it is probably the truth in your own is that at some point and time we will have and experienced a testing of our faith. Both James and Peter wrote to the church telling them that these tests would come:
3 for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. James 1:3 (ESV)
7 so that the tested genuineness of your faithómore precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fireómay be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. 1 Peter 1:7 (ESV)
So trials will enter into our lives and how we respond to them speaks volumes to the watching world about whom we are and who Jesus is. It shows the hope we have in Him for not only our future but the future of the whole world. Personally I believe that no one in their right mind enjoys being tested. It is a scientific fact that the average person who is involved in a test such as an algebra exam in high school will experience a physical change that overcomes the body. With symptoms of sweating, rapid heartbeat, dry mouth just to name a few. Who has never experienced butterflies in your stomach? Test anxiety also affects our behavior and reasoning skills; things we knew to be fact before we faced the test become possible answers or we completely forget what we have known to be the truth all along. Sometimes we donít take the test seriously and shrug it off, with the thought Iíll do better next time. Often this is the same mentality we have when we face tests in our walk with Christ.
However, just like there is hope for the individual who has test anxiety in the classroom there are things you and I can do to help us prepare for those tests that we will face in our own lives. In the classroom students are taught how to study, and what to do when the anxiety begins to creep in on them. They are taught breathing techniques and shown ways to help them gain focus so that they can maintain control as the test is going on. These same things can be applied to our lives as Christians. Jesus told the disciples in John 16:33:
33 I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.Ē (ESV)
If we want to face testing with an assurance of the outcome we must understand that Jesus has already taken the test. He has overcome the world and every test we face if we will turn and trust in Him seeing it as He sees it. We can be sure that whatever the result it will be what is best for all involved.
Paul explained that testing or temptation was a part of the Christians walk; however, God has made a way through the sacrifice of Jesus to carry you through each and every one that comes our way;
13 The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure. 1 Corinthians 10:13 (NLT)
God has already prepared a way for you and me to pass the tests that come our way it requires first we accept Jesus as the Son of God and the sacrifice He made so that we can have salvation in Him. Then it requires that we learn about Jesus through the study of Godís Word. At this point life becomes an open book test. While this does not remove the test that we face, it does give us a place to turn that has the answers we need to pass it. Now open book tests are still hard we have to know where to turn and how to find the answers. This is where the studying comes in. However, it does make facing a test a lot less stressful when you know the answers are right there in front of you.
I pray that when testing comes you remember that God has made away for you and it can be found as you walk in the Light of Godís Word. Be blessed.
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