Friday, April 11, 2014
TESTimony in Faith
James 1: 2-5 Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him.
State testing is scheduled for next week. It's new this year, a new way of recording the knowledge, the critical thinking skills; a new way of assessing our school population as compared to others. Gone are the test packets and bubble-in sheets. We will ease into a computerized way of testing-- reading passages and problems and answering on a computer screen.
Picked to begin the new system first, the junior class. Testing will be over a three week period, 2-3 days, in the first few hours of school. Students will be pulled from class, moved around, some teachers administering the test and others not. Testing, it disrupts the norm, leaves one anxious and exhausted. Each submitted answer sheet is personal, your name is on it.
And what of the outcome? How well did you do? Score high, low or among the average? What are your stragedies for answering the questions? What possible ways can you be prepared?
Our faith is tested every once in awhile. Unlike state tests, faith tests are never on the calendar. They show up unannounced. Maybe it's just a "pop quiz;" over quickly, answered and dealt with in a succinct manner and turned over quietly to ponder the lesson learned. Other tests come to us in a surprising, maybe even complicated or sorrowful ways, requiring different skills and possibly an "essay" with something to prove: an attitude that shows "God's Got This." Time to put into practice what are sanctification process wants to test. Sometimes, these tests take time and much endurance.
What testing skills should we consider?
I found this acronym, R.O.A.D.S
R: Read the title and make a prediction.
Scripture promises us that all things work together for good to those that love the Lord. (Romans 8:28). This sets up our attitude as one who will perservere with God on our side.
O: Outline the passage during reading.
Scriptures instruct us to study, to show ourselves approved, so that we can correctly handle and understand the Word of Truth. (II Timothy 2:15).
A: Answer each question first before reading all the answer choices.
Look for the Godly answers, not the world's answers. (Romans 12:2)
In the book of James, the instructions are to seek His wisdom and it will be given generously.
( James 1:5)
The Psalmist tells us: (Psalm 25:12) Who is the man who fears the LORD? He will instruct him in the way he should choose.
D: Dash out all the wrong answers
If we are seeking the Lord's will, pray for and use discernment. Seek counsel in the wisdom of others who trust in the Lord. (John 7:17-18, Proverbs 3: 5-6).
S: Select the best answer.
Isaiah 30:21 And your ears will hear a word behind you, "this is the way, walk in it," whenever you turn to the right or to the left.
Of course, always get plenty of rest and eat a good breakfast. Yes, rest in the Lord that He will deliver you in and through this test. Feed on the Word of God and strengthen your faith with unceasing prayer. There are times when answers are not always clear. Sometimes, no reasoning makes sense. Trusting in our Teacher keeps us guided in our quest towards wisdom and knowledge in Him. Clarification may be in the Heavenly realm. The Christian learns to trust, live in transparency. Even when we don't do so well, shared lessons learned and stragedies with other "students of the Word," grow us. Join study groups, gather prayer partners, speak in TESTimony! In faith lessons and faith tests, you can't really copy the answers from another, you can only glean encouragement. Everyone has his own test. God's plan is personal, unique for each one of us. In that, our faith receives an award, a paid in full scholarship in a life powered by the One who corrects all are wrongs and gave His 100% for us. He transfers that grade unto us and sees us as His prized students!
Lord, I have to be thankful for tests, for in these, Your divine purpose I can put into practice. This is my faith in action. My attitude is not always what it should be. Many times I get frustrated, grumpy, overwhelmed. Rest, refocus and rejuvination from Your Word gives me new strength. Satan wishes I sleep in, fail miserably and lack preparation. Let me never fall into that category but take each test as an opportunity for your assessment towards Your Will for my life. In my flesh, I will fail, but in Your Spirit, may you receive the glory. I press on. Amen.
What faith lessons has God taught you?
What scriptures always point you towards a Godly attitude when facing a trial?
Can I pray for you?