Do you know the difference in being tested and temptation?
We know in school students are tested regularly on how they are retaining and understanding the material they are learning. Customers test-drive vehicles to see if they perform as advertised before buying. Our character and spiritual commitments are tested by the fires of hardship, persecution and suffering. The Bible distinguishes between temptation, which is used by Satan to lead into sin, and testing which is used by God to purify us and move us toward maturity and growth.
In Genesis 22, where God told Abraham to sacrifice Isaac – the son Abraham loved so much – we wonder how could a loving compassionate God ask such a thing?
How can we ever begin to know what that would feel like being told by God to sacrifice our child? God’s purpose was not to take Isaac from Abraham, but to test and strengthen Abraham’s faith.
When Abraham raised his knife to plunge into Isaac, an angel said, “Lay down the knife, do not hurt the boy in anyway, for I know you truly fear (reverence) God.” (Genesis 12:5).
Abraham was willing to kill his beloved son, but he trusted God.
“Then Abraham saw a ram caught in the brush, and sacrificed it as a burnt offering on the alter in place of his son, Isaac (Genesis 22: 10-13).” Is your faith being tested? Is there suffering in your life? Are there times when you ask, “Why me Lord? How long Lord?”
Just know in your heart that God is working in you to make you a stronger person, and to give you strength that you never realized you had, and the faith you need to carry you through all difficulties in life – whatever it is. These trials are only to test your faith to show that it is strong and pure.
“That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honor and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ” (I Peter 1:7).