Be careful to follow every command I am giving you today, so that you may live and increase and may enter and possess the land that the LORD promised on oath to your forefathers. Remember how the LORD your God led you all the way in the desert these forty years, to humble you and to test you in order to know what was in your heart, whether or not you would keep his commands. Deuteronomy 8:1-2 (NIV)
It’s A Test
You have been through many trials and troubles in life. You have experienced great difficulty. You have faced difficult challenges. You aren’t telling me anything new, that’s for sure. It doesn’t sound like you have enjoyed going through trials and troubles. It doesn’t seem like you are a fan of difficult challenges. No, I am not, not at all. Do you know anyone that is? No, I don’t.
You may not have realized it, but your trials, troubles and difficult challenges in life have tested you. How so? You and I have been able to see what was in your heart as you have gone through trials, troubles and difficult challenges in life. What is in my heart? You tell me. I don’t know if I can tell you. I will help you by asking you some questions. That would be great. Have trials, troubles and difficult challenges caused you to give up? Have you quit following me? Have you become bitter or better? Has your faith grown weaker or stronger? Do you trust me more or less? Have you relied on yourself or have you come to rely more on me? Are you thankful for what trials, troubles and difficult challenges have accomplished in your life? Have you come to see trials, troubles and difficult challenges as your bitter enemies or your best friends? Do you deeply regret what you have gone through or are you especially thankful for every test that you have faced in life? That’s a lot of questions. Do you have some answers? Yes, I do.
I haven’t given up. I haven’t quit following you. I haven’t grown bitter. My faith hasn’t grown weaker. I trust you more and rely on myself far less. I wouldn’t sign up to take any of these tests of mine again. I wouldn’t ever wish that my tests had never come my way. You have used every trial, trouble and difficult challenge to draw me close to you. You have never left me. You have never forsaken me. You have taught me to hold on to you as you have held on to me. You have shown me that I have a heart to follow you. I want to go wherever you lead me to do whatever you ask of me. I am thankful for how you have tested me. You have given me a hunger to know you and a desire to walk in your ways. I will love you and follow you and serve you with all my heart. That is very good.
Lord, I am not a big fan of wilderness journeys in life. I don’t like the trials, and troubles that have come my way. I am thankful that you have been with me to help me through every difficulty. You have humbled my heart and caused me to come to rely on you. Amen
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