How To Get A Big Fat “F”
But he knows where I am going. And when he tests me, I will come out as pure as gold. For I have stayed on God’s paths; I have followed his ways and not turned aside.
Is God really testing me? Or, am I just going through life, with its ups and downs and he simply notices how I do? Isn’t that what a test is? In school, a test is an opportunity for the teacher to see what I’ve learned. A teacher doesn’t devise a test over foreign material; the purpose of a test is not to mess someone up. A test is simply an indicator of how the student is doing. A test isn’t something a teacher does, it’s a student’s performance.
Jesus told us all very plainly in John 16:33 that in this world we will have troubles, many troubles (Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows). He also told us not to worry about our troubles because he has defeated them all for us (But take heart, because I have overcome the world). So when I encounter trouble, I need to look at it exactly for what it is. It is trouble that Jesus already warned me of. How I act and live during that trouble is the test. My behavior indicates how I am doing. The trouble is not the test. The test is about the performance of the student. Do I take matters in my own hands during troubling times, make things worse, lose my temper, swear like a sailor, get even, lie my way out, steal my way out, hurt people??? That would be a big fat “F” from my Evaluator now wouldn’t it?
To assume that God is passing out horrible circumstances for mankind to endure so he can “test” us is absurd because it completely negates all of Scripture! (See Jeremiah 29:11 and James 1:17). It also negates the fact that we have an Enemy who is a real, bonafide troublemaker. Jesus states our Enemy’s purpose very clearly in John 10:10. The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy.
James 1:12-13 says God blesses those who patiently endure testing and temptation. Afterward they will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him. And remember, when you are being tempted, do not say, “God is tempting me.” God is never tempted to do wrong, and he never tempts anyone else. The Enemy is the one providing the trouble; God is simply seeing how we do PLUS making things work out for GOOD for those who love and trust him! (See Romans 8:28.)
Job is a very specific person in Scripture and his life should not be generalized upon all of God’s people anymore than a Believer would feel like they are to have identical experiences as Moses, Elijah, Peter, John, or Paul. God used Job’s life to show us all that we can get an “A” if we, like Job, follow all God’s ways and not turn aside no matter what happens.
I pray for my friends who are Believers who have accidentally mistaken your good character. Please don’t let them fall into the trap of believing that you intend harm for people who put their faith in you because that is completely contrary to all of scripture.(Especially Jeremiah 29:11!) You are good all the time, and you just want to look at my life and evaluate my behavior in good or in bad circumstances to help guide me. I want to be found always trusting you, always obeying you, and always being helped by you just like the very many examples of faithful people from Scripture, from history, and even from people that I know. You are so good to us all the time, and I just can’t thank you enough. I love you and thank you and pray in Jesus’ name, amen.