Time of Testing

“So, as the Holy Spirit says:
    ‘Today, if you hear his voice,
    do not harden your hearts
    as you did in the rebellion,
    during the time of testing in the desert,
    where your fathers tested and tried me
    and for forty years saw what I did.”

Hebrews 3:7-9 NIV

takingtest-JobTest I am constantly amazed at what God is willing to reveal about Himself and His ways. 

When I read these verses this morning I thought, “God is letting us know that He uses our resistance to turn the tables on us!”

When we feel so in control and get preoccupied with resisting, rebelling, testing and trying God’s patience—thinking that our wiggling and straining against Him will be allowed to succeed, He reveals that He is the One doing the testing!

I need reminding that our time on earth is the testing time–muscles of faith and delight in God are being developed by trying circumstances.

I also need the certain hope that the striving and straining is purposeful and  that following the time of testing there is a great intense rest that makes it all worth it.

As I read, yesterday came to my mind. I think Casey was tasting in miniscule form the message of these verses. 

She loved sitting all day with no schedule and enjoying her Christmas gifts.  She wallowed in pajamas and nibbled and rested and relished the freedom especially as she remembered how hard this first semester of senior year had been.

The schedule of reading and tests was grueling and seemingly endless. But yesterday dawned with rest that she could not have imagined real in the midst of studying and testing.  Yesterday, she seemed  to somehow grasp that the hard work season was somehow responsible for helping her enjoy the rest season of Christmas! As she remembered what had been she entered into a heightened enjoyment of Christmas Day!  When the opportunity to rest presented itself she knew it was a gift and she knew to savor it to the full!

“Testings reveal the state of our hearts–a crisis neither makes not mars a man, but it does manifest him.  While all is smooth sailing we appear to be getting along nicely.  But are we?  Are our minds stayed upon the Lord, or are we, instead, complacently resting in His temporal mercies?  When the storm breaks, it is not so much that we fail under it, as that our habitual lack of leaning upon God, of daily walking in dependency upon Him, is made evident.” ((A.W. Pink, An Exposition of Hebrews, (Grand Rapids: Baker, 1954), 169.))

“And so, dear brothers and sisters who belong to God

and are bound for heaven, think about this Jesus

whom we declare to be God’s Messenger and High Priest.”

Hebrews 3:1 NLT