“GOD IS FAITHFUL EVEN WHEN WE AREN’T”
“There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.” (I Corinthians 10:13)
The word “temptation” carries with it the idea of testing, and the implication of “testing’ is to measure the quality and loyalty of a person or a testing. Car makers of our day conduct countless tests on their products in order to determine the quality of the vehicle before it is marketed to the consumer. Some manufacturers set far more rigid guidelines than their competitors, because their products bear their company’s name, and they will only be satisfied with the highest quality. It is not only an embarrassment, but also an added expense if their products are returned because of some malfunction or inferiority found in the car.
We read of many instances in the Bible where men have been tested by God. Certainly, this testing, i.e. temptation, was not given to antagonize the individual. No, it was to ascertain the measure of loyalty and spiritual strength. When Abraham was tempted (tested) by God concerning the giving of his son, Isaac, it was to test (prove) the quality of his loyalty and his faith. Remember, God had previously told Abraham (cf Genesis 21:12), “...for in Isaac shall thy seed be called.” No matter what occurred later (Genesis 22), when the testing took place, Abraham knew God was obligated to fulfill His Word.
There are Christians today that certainly undergo testing from God to prove their worth as His child. I do believe that every true believer will undergo certain types of testing from time to time. It may involve some situations or circumstances that you do not understand at the time. How you handle these things will determine your spiritual character before your Heavenly Father. It will determine whether or not you are of the quality that God can or will use in the days ahead. Demas (II Timothy 4:10) was tested in accordance with an appetite for “worldly” things. He failed that test completely when he abandoned the Apostle Paul and the work of God and headed to Thessalonica to do his thing. There are many “Demases” out there. Perhaps, the Lord would have given him greater responsibilities and opportunities had he stayed faithful and loyal in that part of the ministry. Demas never returned. On the other hand, Peter was tested severely just hours before Christ was crucified. Jesus had warned him about this testing from Satan that was coming. Peter vowed he would never depart from Christ, but he did when he was faced with the pressure that came from people. Peter recognized what had happened to him, repented, and returned to take his place among the other apostles. He became their leader, their spokesman, the one that others looked to for strength.
To those of you who may presently be undergoing some type of unpleasant testing, just know this: God is simply determining the quality of your loyalty and faithfulness. He never puts more on you than you can bear. He will always reveal to you how to come out of the testing a better Christian. God wants quality from and of His children. You can be sure that the testing will prove to God your worth to Him, now and in eternity.Pastor H. Preston Parker