by: Keith Brown
Scriptures: James 1:2-4, 12 ESV
Remember when the word “testing” didn’t have anything to do with Coronavirus testing? In fact, when the word testing was used, many times what often came to mind was someone standing at a microphone saying “testing, testing, testing, 1,2, 3.” This was simply a test of microphones and the amplifying equipment to ensure that they would work properly and would stand up and hold out when being used, under a trial run, a soundcheck, or when abused by resounding singers, or rough speaking people, etc,
Well, consider this: Testing does take on real meaning spiritually. James 1:12 ESV says “Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love Him.”
Remaining steadfast under trial? Can we get with that after going through some of the trials and tribulations of this life? I can remember hearing similar words “back in the day” when Pastor I lost her job and as I was talking with my Chaplain buddy at work — and he stopped me in my tracks as I was telling him about what had happened to me and my wife — and he said, “my friend, it’s just a time of testing.” Testing I thought — I know God tests us and we often say “when God gets through with me, I shall come forth as pure gold,” but I was being “tested” a bit too hard in my mind! A source of money had dried up — so I had to survive the test of “cut out money!” I had a boss who felt more like an enemy than a leader — so I had to survive the test of an “unruly boss!” And the economy had turned upside down and I seemed to lose my shirt — so I had to stand the test of “losing, then losing some more, and losing some more!”
And so I thought many times — and the devil tried to tell me — that this can’t be a test from God, because he wouldn’t do that to me!. He wouldn’t allow me to be tested in this way— bills piling up and so much uncertainty going on in my life. And I was about to believe it until God began to show me that he delivers us in the middle of our trials and tests — even when we are tore up from the floor up! Even when there seems to be no hope and everything is just messed up!
God had to remind me of all of his servants like Job, Moses, Gideon, David — and the list goes on and on —how he tested each of them and they all made it through. God had to remind me of his sovereignty through the concepts about testing in the book of James.
God had to remind me to keep my eyes on him in the middle of the tests of life. God had to remind me that when we believe on Him that trouble don’t last always! And God had to remind me that the devil is seeking whomever he can devour especially when we are in the middle of testing from the Lord.
Well, when you stand before the “microphones of life” — your issues, your circumstances, aka your tests — be sure to let God remind you that yes there might be “testing, testing, testing” going on, but the Scripture says to remain steadfast — that is to say hold on, hang in there, because the “testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.”
by Rev. Dr. V. Keith Brown, Pastor