Life’s Open Book Test

Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him.

James 1:12

Have you ever found yourself going through difficult times in life? Of course, you have. And did you ever feel like they were undeserved? That’s not uncommon either. But have you ever considered these circumstances to be a blessing rather than a curse?

It’s comforting to think that the Holy Spirit will make us “lie down in green pastures” and that He’ll lead us “beside still waters” (Psalm 23:2). He will, but there are also times when the Spirit will lead us into the wilderness to be tested, just as He did Jesus (Luke 4:1-13).

When we find ourselves facing difficulties in life, we must first determine whether we are to blame. Did our sin or poor choices lead us to this place? If not, then ask God to strengthen you because what you are experiencing is most likely a spiritual test. And how we respond to these tests often determine how long they last.

In a time when we need God the most, He may seem silent. But this silence is part of His plan. Just because you don’t sense His presence doesn’t mean He’s not there—just like a teacher is silent during a test in school, God is often silent while He’s testing our faith. And this sense of being alone can feel excruciating.

But when we’re struggling, we can’t rely on these feelings. They are our most significant weakness during times of trial and temptation. Satan knows this and uses every opportunity to leverage our feelings against us. So we must put our trust and hope in the Word of God, just as Jesus did (Matthew 4:1-11). Knowing and obeying God’s Word is our best weapon against the lies and temptations that Satan uses against us (Ephesians 6:10-17).

The Holy Spirit led Jesus into the wilderness, and when He had passed this test, He was prepared to begin His ministry (Luke 4:14-15). Just as God tested Jesus, He will test each one of us. It may not make sense at the time (Isaiah 55:8-9) but make no mistake, it is for our benefit. God rewards us when we find Him, but also when we seek Him.

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied. Matthew 5:6 Click To Tweet

If you are struggling now, have you considered what God might have planned for you? Follow His Spirit and obey His Word. 

Today’s author: Mark Henderson—husband, father, and founder of The Inspired Legacy.

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