None of us like tests; of any sort. Medical tests are invasive and mean that something is wrong. Academic tests make us strain the limits of our knowledge and understanding and put our memory to work. Character and conviction tests mean that we will face enticements that are meant to prove or disprove our resolve, strength, and faith.
Tests push us to our limits. It means we must endure difficulty, challenges, and be pushed to the limits, often enduring discomfort, pain, and uncertainty.
No, none of us like these things.
And yet, Your word is filled with examples of when and where you put us to the test; where you send, permit, and work through the testing process. In fact, those tests (You Word ensures us) are intended for our benefit and will result in our spiritual growth and maturity. They are a necessary part of our growth in Christ. If we desire to become more like Jesus, we must endure the testing process, as unpleasant as it may be.
Through the testing of our faith; through the testing of our values; you are looking for men and woman who will surrender all for you; who have decided that you are worth more than anything and who are wiling to pay whatever cost to obtain you.
But oh, Abba, at times this hurts. You ask from us things that we love, cherish, and that even bear intrinsic value from You. And yet, you ask that nothing be more important to us than you. You ask that we trust you, love you, obey you, value you above all. And you have proven that you are more than worth it.
However, in our own strength, we do not have the power to resist the allure of all this world entices us with. It offers many comforts and pleasures to this fallen flesh. And so often we are short sighted and choose that which is temporal over that which lasts forever.
Abba, protect us from ourselves. Protect us from allowing the comforts of the flesh to rob us of the comforts of the soul. Show to us the supreme majesty that cascades forth from your throne! Give us eyes to see so that we are no longer satisfied in the things of this world.
Place us to the test and give us the strength to pass that test! Send your test, for we want to be like you. Send your test so that the weaknesses in us may be exposed, repented of, and cast out! Send your test so that we may know the depth of your wonderful name!
BUT WITH THE TEST, send what we need to pass it! We want the faith of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob! We want the faith of Jesus! We know this must come through testing and trials and we humbly submit ourselves to it in order that we may bask in your glory and rest in your arms with peace and joy!
Let us be tested and approved!