By Michael Elmore
No one likes to takes tests. I remember the very first test I took in seminary; my hands were shaking because I was so nervous. (Incidentally, I aced the test!)
In 1 Corinthians 10:13, 14, the Bible states that God tests us, “No test has seized you except what is common to everyone. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tested beyond what you can bear. But when you are tested, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it”
God’s tests are not like pencil and paper tests. His tests aren’t to see what we know; he wants to see what we are. His tests are more like drop forging hot metal. In the process of drop forging, one metal is combined with another and then dropped into a vat of cold water to see if it cracks or remains strong. In this way it can be shaped and molded. The purpose of God’s test is to make us stronger by shaping us into the image of Christ.
As I said, no one likes tests. However the apostle Paul shares with us three things in this verse that will help us “ace” God’s test. The first secret to passing the test is to realize that you are not in a unique situation; the test you are going through is “common to everyone”. In other words, lots of people have or are facing the same thing you are. God is not picking on you.
The second secret to passing the test is to realize that, “God is faithful”. Like the Marine motto “Semper Fi”, you can count on God not to test you beyond what you can stand up under. Will you face pressure while being tested? Of course! We must realize that most of us rarely change unless we are pressured to do so. That is why James 1:2 says, “Count it all joy brothers when you face many kinds of tests.” Why? God is doing his best to help you change for the better. God guarantees that the pressure won’t be so great that we will fail the test.
The third secret to passing the test Paul says is that “when we are tested God will provide a way out.” What we don’t realize is that “the way out”, is “often the way through”. I went through the largest corn maze in the State of Iowa with my family. We all went in and wondered around in circles asking other people for directions. Finally, we spotted a platform where we thought that we would see the way out. Up on top of the platform we soon realized that we were stuck in the middle of the maze. We could see the end but we still had to go through the maze to get there. Fortunately, an employee met us and offered to take us through to the exit. God doesn’t provide a way out, but he does provide a way through. The secret to passing the test is to realize that it is God who takes us through.
You may be saying to yourself, “hey, I am going through a whopper of a test RIGHT NOW and I need help. Like a dead car battery your strength might be used up and you don’t think you can make it. That’s exactly where God wants us to be . . . wholly dependent on his power. Open yourself heart right now and receive a boost of God’s power to recharge your life. Remember, “God is faithful he will not let you be tested beyond what you can bear.” Use the three secrets the Apostle Paul gives us to pass this test: tests put the pressure on us but God will never let it become too great that you can’t stand it. You are not unique many people face tests like yours and pass it successfully. Don’t forget, you may have to go through the test, but you are not alone God goes through it with you.