Does God test us? We hear that expression quite a bit and commonly use it when something bad happens to us.I spend a lot of time driving which leads to much time reflecting on various subjects many of them of the religious nature. In the last year as I have begun my return to the Church and religion in general, I also spend much time meditating at night as well. I have spent much time thinking of this question.
As with most spiritual questions I have, I usually end up with more questions. But as I roll along with the questions, I usually find the answer, sometimes through a sign from God, the signs aren’t always easy to read, but they are there.
So does God test us? Hint: The answer is in the Bible. I used to think He did, until I really thought about it. After all, if He is testing me, He must also be testing everyone connected with me at any particular time I am being tested right? Let’s look at the 9/11 attacks for instance. Fortunately I didn’t personally know anyone who was killed, but let’s say a family member of mine was killed. I could say this was to test my faith, to see how I handled it. But then if God wanted to test my faith, is he also testing all my other family members faith as well? How about all the other people on the planes? Their families? Not that anything is beyond God, I don’t beleive He would affect so many lives for the testing of one.
God has given us “free will”, which I guess could be argued is a test of sorts. He is testing us to see if we are following His rules. But He also doesn’t stop us from not following Him. He wants us to use our free will to make our own choices. Satan, on the other hand, will test us by throwing out temptation at us. If we resist, he will double his efforts, and God won’t do a thing to stop him.
Okay, that isn’t entirely true. In my case I think back to when I had a drinking problem. Now I am not nor was I ever an alcoholic. I could and did stop whenever I got to bad. How did I know when that was? That is where God came in. This came to me recently in one of reflecting while driving (similar to texting while driving but safer) modes. I would stop drinking when I couldn’t afford it any more. Whether it was while I was still married or after my divorce, I would drink and then something would happen where I couldn’t afford to spend the money any longer. I am convinced now that this was part of God’s plan for me. He wanted to bring me to the edge, but wouldn’t let me fall over.
Now I that I see that I have no interest in drinking like that again. I now realize that wasn’t the answer to anything. I know what the answer is now, and that is half the battle. I still don’t know exactly what His plan is for me, but I think I’ll find it soon.
So the answer is no, God doesn’t test us, but he sure likes to mess with us once in awhile.
By the way, the Bible verse is:
“Blessed is the man who endures trial., for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life which God has promised to those who love him. Let no one say when he is tempted “I am tempted by God”; for God cannot be tempted with evil and he himself tempts no one; but each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin; and sin when it is full-grown brings forth death. James 1: 12 – 15 RSV