Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: At Wit’s End (02/13/14)
TITLE: Testing, testing ...
By Yannick Ford
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“Then Jesus lifted up His eyes, and seeing a great multitude coming toward Him, He said to Philip, "Where shall we buy bread, that these may eat?" But this He said to test him, for He Himself knew what He would do.” (John 6:5-6) We see in this passage that Philip was being tested. It’s probably fair to say that most of us do not really like being tested. It makes us nervous and we feel unprepared. What if we don’t succeed?
Philip probably did not realise right then that he was being tested. What if we don’t know that we are being tested? In that case, the test may feel like a frustration, or an obstacle to our plans. “I really don’t need this. How do I get out of this one?” If we simply look at our circumstances, without faith, we may end up making unwise choices, or showing melancholy resignation, or even giving up. We don’t realise that it’s a test, so we blame providence, or we blame others.
What if we don’t know that we have been tested? For someone with no relationship with God, that is potentially disastrous. Remember Belshazzar, the Babylonian king, and the famous writing on the wall. What did the writing say? “You have been weighed in the balances, and found wanting” (Daniel 5:27). I would not want that to be my test result! How thankful we should be that we have Christ’s righteousness credited to us, and that we do not depend on the balance of our own deeds.
What about the Lord’s role? If we think of another disciple, Peter, and his test, we find something very precious. The Lord had warned Peter about his denials. Even though Peter did not believe the Lord’s warnings at the time, the Lord had something wonderful to say about it: “But I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail” (Luke 22:32). We may be frustrated, we may be perplexed, we may be at our wit’s end, but there can be no ultimate disaster if <i>He</i> is praying! Note too, that the Lord prayed that Peter’s <i>faith</i> would not fail. It is interesting that Peter later writes in his first epistle, “In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ” (1 Peter 1:6-7). Peter links the test with proving of faith, and he also links it with glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ. Now we can see the purpose of the test! Lord, help us to have an eye on the future, to look forward to Your day of glory.
Footnote: Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1979, 1980, 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
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