As our world is suffering in a variety of ways due to the current pandemic of COVID-19 we are all being plunged into a world of fear, selfishness, panic, judgement, chaos and carelessness. What we need right now is something so few of us are experiencing - peace.
Peace is found when we trust God and allow ourselves to be emptied of fear, panic and worry in order for Him to fill us up with His peace. Trusting God is a very human struggle we all face, and in order for our trust and faith in God to grow, we will be tested.
We are being tested every single day, from little things to big things. Testing is all about growth and strength training. As we endure testing in our lives we are being refined into who God intended us to be. We are being prepared for eternity in His kingdom. Here are some examples of how we are tested throughout our lives.
Do you focus more on your wants, or the wants and needs of others? Do you take the time to help others, or worry more about helping yourself? We are called to be selfless, but must constantly fight our selfish nature to become more like Christ and find peace.
Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Philippians 2:3
Do you give only when you have more than enough, share your time only when it suits you, or give only when you get something in return? We're called to give even when we have little, and to expect nothing in return. God provides what we have so that we can be generous toward others. We are more blessed in giving than receiving.
You will be enriched in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God. 2 Corinthians 9:11
Are you only kind to people when you think they deserve it, or when you're in the mood to be kind? We are called to be kind at all times. Kindness is an active choice and it is contagious. You don’t spread light with darkness, but you can vanquish darkness with light.
Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Colossians 3:12
Do your goals and plans include helping others, or primarily yourself? Do you use the skills God gave you to further His mission, or to further your own? God blesses us with our resources, minds and abilities so that we can use them to serve others and further His kingdom.
For we are co-workers in God’s service; you are God’s field, God’s building. 1 Corinthians 3:9
Do you obey God only when it is easy, or only run to Him when life is hard? Are you selfless, generous, kind, and serving others in order to further His mission? God commands us to be faithful in all things, at all times; good and bad, easy and difficult. When we are faithful in the little things, we will be faithful in the bigger things. When we are faithful to God through the testing we see that He is faithful to us.
Whether it is good or bad, we will obey the voice of the Lord our God to whom we are sending you, that it may be well with us when we obey the voice of the Lord our God.” Jeremiah 42:6
How do we endure testing?
In order to endure the testing we must face, we must lean into God, trust Him through it, and surrender ourselves and our sense of control to the One who is actually in control. Lift up your struggles with a thankful heart, and remain faithful to God who is always selfless, generous, kind, faithful and serving His people.
Activate your faith and stand firm, not only to show God we can, but to show ourselves that He can. How do you know you really trust God if you're never put in situations where you must? How will you strengthen your belief that God will carry you if you never surrender control?
God is right there experiencing your struggles with you, waiting for you to trust Him to carry you. Even when it doesn't feel like it, when it feels like He's left you, when it seems like there's just too much darkness, chaos and pain, God is there to help you get through it and pass every test. Trust Him to be in control and let His peace replace your fears.
'And the Lord said to Satan, "Have you considered my servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, who fears God and turns away from evil?" Then Satan answered the Lord and said, "Does Job fear God for no reason? Have you not put a hedge around him and his house and all that he has, on every side? You have blessed the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land. But stretch out your hand and touch all that he has, and he will curse you to your face." And the Lord said to Satan, "Behold, all that he has is in your hand. Only against him do not stretch out your hand." So Satan went out from the presence of the Lord . ' Job 1:8-12
And he said, "Naked I came from my mother's womb, and naked shall I return. The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord ." Then Job arose and tore his robe and shaved his head and fell on the ground and worshiped. In all this Job did not sin or charge God with wrong. ' Job 1:20-22
Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Galatians 6:9
I believe that the present suffering is nothing compared to the coming glory that is going to be revealed to us. Romans 8:18
Dear friends, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that has come on you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice inasmuch as you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed. 1 Peter 4:12-13