Are You a Test Taker?
How many of you enjoy test taking? I know I don’t. I had a test taking experience in college in which a professor designed his tests so that every answer would seem close. A, B, C, D, and he added an E, which would either be all of the above or none of the above. I did not do well on his tests and actually I ended up retaking the class. He was not a professor who offered mercy and grace when it came to taking his class. Sometimes it seemed he set up every test so that they would fail. Actually, I was not the only one in his class who struggled. He made it known to everyone he did not want students to do well because if they did it meant he was not doing his job well.
Several weeks ago, I had to go and take a test. I traveled and spent all day with a prompter who tried to prepare me for a ninety-question test to finish in ninety minutes. It was a multiple-choice adventure and I am still not sure how I did on it. One thing for sure is I did not like it.
You can imagine my thoughts when I read Psalm 26 today. David said, “Put me on trial, Lord, and cross-examine me. Test my motives and my heart.” Wow! David asked for a test. He wanted to take a test given by God Himself. Come on David, not a test!
The word “examine” means to investigate, try by trial, or to prove. The word examine can be used in the tests applied to metals to find out their purity. In verse two, this is a strong word used by David. The psalmist wants the most thorough examination in his life. He did not shrink from the test and he felt it was essential to his welfare the exact truth be known.
We know from Scripture, David sinned many times, just as we all do, but even in his sin or, better, in his repentance, he always trusted in the Lord. Let me return to Psalm 26:2-3, which says, “Put me on trial, Lord, and cross-examine me. Test my motives and my heart. For I am always aware of your unfailing love, and I have lived according to your truth.”
Yes, David sinned but he tried to do the right thing. Look at Psalm 26:4-5, “I do not spend time with liars or go along with hypocrites. I hate the gatherings of those who do evil, and I refuse to join in with the wicked.” This was the true intent of David’s heart. He did not want to join the wicked and he refused to join them.
David learned from his mistakes and he showed this when he said, “I wash my hands to declare my innocence. I come to your altar, O Lord, singing a song of thanksgiving and telling of all your wonders.” David desired clean hands and pure heart. This is the key to passing the tests the Lord sends our way.
If we continually praise the Lord and remember the wonders He has done it will help keep us from falling into the likely traps set up by the author of deception. The deceptor desires to see you fail and fall into his sinful traps.
Testing is a part of our everyday lives. Peter talked about this in his writings when he said in 1 Peter 1:6-9, “So be truly glad. There is wonderful joy ahead, even though you must endure many trials for a little while. These trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold—though your faith is far more precious than mere gold. So when your faith remains strong through many trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world. You love him even though you have never seen him. Though you do not see him now, you trust him; and you rejoice with a glorious, inexpressible joy. The reward for trusting him will be the salvation of your souls.”
Do you happen to see the purpose of our testing? Tests show that our faith is genuine. Testing purifies us like the purification of pure gold. Testing helps us remain faithful and through the testing we can praise and glory and honor Jesus Christ.
I have planted a seed and a new and young plant grew. I placed it in the ground and expected it to grow from the warmth and heat of the sun, but it did not do well. It was not used to the direct sun and the wind it faced.
The plants, I have grown from the ground, adjusted themselves to the wind and the sun. They grew thicker stems and their leaves were stronger. The testing from the elements made the plant stronger.
Yes, I know I do not like tests. I do not like them however they are given. But I do desire to be pure before my Savior. So if tests are needed then I am ready to say as David did, “Put me on trial, Lord, and cross-examine me. Test my motives and my heart.” As a messy person this is not easy to say. Sometimes I like my messiness more, but I know I desire to be stronger and wiser for my Savior.
I echo Peter, “There is wonderful joy ahead, even though you must endure many trials for a little while. These trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold—though your faith is far more precious than mere gold. So when your faith remains strong through many trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world.”
How about you? You ready to take the tests that are going to be put before you? I am willing but I also need to share something with you. There is an amazing thing about tests that God gives us. You know what it is? We do not have to take His tests alone.
All tests, I have been given in school, I had to take alone. But all of God’s tests, He helps me pass. He is with me and His tests purify me and help me remain strong so that I can worship Him.
Yes, I know I do not like tests. I can’t stand answering A, B, C, D, or E, but I am willing to take His. Are you? He will help me and He will help you pass and I am very thankful for that! As a messed up person, I need all the help I can get.