Have you ever been walking down the path of faith and suddenly found yourself feeling lost and unsure? The Bible is our road map in life, but sometimes we are challenged in such a way that we have a hard time following the directions learned in Scripture.

When is the last time that your faith was tested? Maybe it was last year or last month, or perhaps for you the answer is right now. God tests our faith in a variety of ways every day. In Rick Warren’s book, A Purpose Driven Life, he says: “A very important test is how you act when you can’t feel God’s presence in your life.” This is a powerful statement. It is during our darkest hours that we feel defeated, weak and that our life is out of control. The reason these emotions are so intense is because we are not in control, God is. Here are just a few of the many ways we are being tested.

In the midst of a traumatic event, it is human nature to ask the question, “Why?” For example, when someone passes away unexpectedly, our minds search for a way to find closure. You’ll hear people say “It’s so unfair, he, or she, was such an amazing person, why did this have to happen?” The answer is because it was God’s plan, but sometimes the overwhelming grief makes it nearly impossible to see. We may become angry with God and if so, tell Him. Talk to Him, and keep your heart open to receive His comfort during your grieving process.

When the economy crumbled and millions of people found themselves without jobs, they were angry and scared. Diligently they would distribute their resumes, while at the same time trying to remain hopeful and optimistic. But as each day passed and they found themselves still unemployed, their emotions would continue to build inside until it seemed that they’d overflow. They were filled with worry that they wouldn’t be able to provide for their families and that they’d lose their homes. All the while, one question played repeatedly in their mind: “Why is this happening to me?”

Have you ever had your own mortality challenged? Maybe you’ve endured a life-threatening illness, or an unexpected accident. If so, you know first-hand what it’s like to maneuver through the overwhelming mix of emotions that follow. You are happy to be alive and to have regained your health, but during the healing process your faith was tested to extremes. Your recovery time may have been a long and painful process, and many days you weren’t sure you had the strength to continue. But your courage and determination enabled you to persevere.

What do all of these examples and questions asked have in common? The answer, “God is testing your faith.”

It is during the adversities in life that we also encounter the depth of our faith becoming more intensified. When you feel that you’ve almost reached rock bottom, you have two choices. You can either turn away from God or you can immerse yourself completely and surrender to Him. So if you feel that your relationship with God is experiencing growing pains, it just may be the foreshadowing of an incredible breakthrough.

Christian singer Laura Story released an amazing song titled Blessings. The lyrics are a strong reminder that the suffering endured in this life is all part of God’s plan for us. The chorus says: “What if Your blessings come through raindrops, what if Your healing comes through tears, what if a thousand sleepless nights are what it takes to know You’re near. What if trials of this life are Your mercies in disguise.” This song reminds us that the hardships in life are all part of God’s master plan.

Count it all joy, my brothers, when you fall into various temptations, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. Let endurance have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. James 1:2-4 

Life here on Earth isn’t meant to be simple. The purpose of our time here is to prepare us for eternity.

Every day God is watching to see how we act and react to different situations and people. The next time you think what you’re doing isn’t important, stop and ask yourself, “How have I been tested today, and how can I better live to serve God?”

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