God Would Not Give Us A Test That Is Impossible For Us To Pass!

by Seth Osborn

Boulder SDB Church, CO


How many times have we cried out to God, asking why something has happened? I know I’ve done it plenty. “Why me? What did I do?” Reflecting on it, I always remember that we’re all far from perfect, and that we deserve much worse than whatever comes our way in life. But it’s still puzzling. If our wrongdoings are forgiven through faith and acceptance of Jesus as our savior, then why would we still face punishment for them? Does God just flip a coin every time we sin? Or could it be something more?

If we flip open our Bibles to James 1:2-4, we find this passage: “Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” That seems to be pretty clear on this issue. Instead of complaining to God when we’re dealing with stress or loss or any other sort of hardship, we should be joyous. Not only does it provide us with an opportunity to strengthen our faith, but it shows that God is confident in our ability to pass through this test.

This doesn’t mean that the test will be easy. Compare it to a test in school (in an ideal situation, at least): the teacher gives the students new material to learn at a steady pace, shows them how to do it, and helps if a student is struggling (though sometimes not until the student first asks for help). When the test day arrives, however, the teacher has to step back. This test is meant to assess the knowledge of the students themselves, not the teacher. Some students might have natural skill in a subject, and ace it easily. Others might have a harder time — but they’ve still been provided with the opportunity to succeed. If these students spent time on their homework, worked with the teacher on things they were struggling with, and studied for the test, then they should be able to pass, and even get a high grade. On the other hand, if they did the bare minimum work, didn’t try to improve, and just glanced over some notes the night before the test, probably they won’t do as well.

The difference with God is that we don’t need to make a caveat that this is the ideal situation — we already know it is. God wouldn’t give us a test that’s impossible for us to pass. But if He wants to truly test us, it can’t be something we can mindlessly get through with no effort. It has to be something that actually tries our faith and, in the end, tempers it. We’ve been promised that our life on earth shouldn’t be easy if we follow God’s will. But we’ve also been promised great rewards for enduring. Skipping forward a few verses, James 1:12 says, “Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love Him.”

So take heart! Our God is a good teacher. He has provided us with what we need to get through life. The only question that remains is one of our own character. Will we work hard and put some effort into it, or will we be complacent and lazy? You can sit around and do nothing, then end up unprepared and unable to accomplish much with your faith. But

if you prepare yourself, it will pay dividends. God will bless and reward you. Your faith will be strengthened. You can be confident in having done good work. The choice is yours.

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