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To Pass The Test

Good Morning Everyone!

I'm so glad you're all here this morning..

Summer is officially over, and fall is upon us...
How many of you enjoy fall?

The football games..
Cooler mornings and evenings, with warm afternoons
The changing of the leaves..

And for those of you with children in school, tests on what they've learned so far.

No one really seems to like tests, am I right?

First of all its because tests means acceptance or rejection.
Pass or fail, promotion, or stagnation. At stake is nothing less than our future, even often, our self worth.

As a pastor, one of the most asked questions, I get is:
"Why does God test us?" or "Why does God allow us to be tested?"

It's a good question, am I right?
Well, I hope, that with the assistance of the Holy Spirit..
I will be able to shed some light, a new perspective on the subject today..
It is my hope and prayer, that after this message, you'll not shy away from the test


Let's get started..

"Blessed is the man who endures temptation; for when he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him."
James 1:12 NKJV

"Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him."
James 1:12 NIV

"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."
James 1:12 ESV

So why does God test us?

A Test Prepares us for future achievement
A Test Proves us worthy of a crown
Testing refines us of impurities

"The refining pot is for silver and the furnace for gold,
But the Lord tests the hearts."

Proverbs 17:3

So we can see here in the Scriptures, that the Lord does test and try us.

The question is this, How many can honestly say, I HAVE PASSED THE TEST?

"No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it."
1 Corinthians 10:13

Scriptures tells us, in fact, God does test and try our hearts, but He does not allow us to be tempted beyond what we can handle and He also provides a way to escape any temptations we face.

"I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing."
2 Timothy 4:7-8

The apostle Paul was telling us in this passage, that we can all have the same kind of crown he is describing, but it doesn’t come unless we pass the test.

"who fed you in the wilderness with manna, which your fathers did not know, that He might humble you and that He might test you, to do you good in the end—"
Deuteronomy 8:16

God always pursues our highest good and our greatest blessing.
God loves us enough to allow beneficial pain. Parents, you know what I'm talking about here..
God knows that tests hurt, but in love he allows them for our good, at His own personal cost!

"In all their affliction He was afflicted,
And the Angel of His Presence saved them;
In His love and in His pity He redeemed them;
And He bore them and carried them
All the days of old."

Isaiah 63:9

We said earlier on, that tests prepare us for achievement, so I'm going to expand on that a little..

A Test Prepares Us For Future Achievement

By passing tests we learn that God indeed answers prayer!
And we learn that His promises stand truly reliable, that he is absolutely faithful.
Until we place everything on the line and see God comes through for us, Its only theory.
But proven, it increases our faith increases, preparing us for future service on a much larger scale.

In middle school, they don’t start you out with college exams.
You first have to pass the tests that are given, in middle school then you work your way up through High school. to the college exams...

"But David said to Saul, “Your servant used to keep his father’s sheep, and when a lion or a bear came and took a lamb out of the flock, I went out after it and struck it, and delivered the lamb from its mouth; and when it arose against me, I caught it by its beard, and struck and killed it. Your servant has killed both lion and bear; and this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, seeing he has defied the armies of the living God.” Moreover David said, “The Lord, who delivered me from the paw of the lion and from the paw of the bear, He will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine.”
And Saul said to David, “Go, and the Lord be with you!”
1 Samuel 17:34-37

So what can we discern from this verse?

What can we can discern is that it took the lion and the bear to prepare David for Goliath.
And we can learn that every test, is preparing us for something that is to come, that is bigger.
Something we're simply not equipped just yet to handle, to endure, be it trial or blessing!
So let's not automatically assume it's something bad, okay?

A Test Proves Us Worthy Of A Crown,
say that with me..


Worthiness, like trust, is something that need be proven..
So since we now know that our worth must be tested and proven,
A Test signifies that God intends to crown us.

Remember what the Scripture tells us?
"Blessed is the man who endures temptation; for when he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him."
James 1:12 NKJV

Testing Refines Us Of Impurities,
say that with me


Look at it this way, testing does more than examine; it purifies.

The more valuable an item or object is, the less we tolerate impurities.
In dirt we expect to have worms, fungus, ants, maggots and bacteria.
In God and Silver on the other hand we demand purity.

We don't buy a diamond engagement or wedding ring because it has a great many flaws!
Can I get a witness?

The metal smiths of biblical times refined gold and silver in furnaces drafted by air bellows.
After it melted, the dross (or Junk) would float to the top and be skimmed off or blown away.

Many leaders in the early days, would have a statue crafted in their likeness...
If statue had a crack, stone dust was mixed with hot wax and poured into the cracks
to preserve the look of the statue. Which by the way, if applied correctly, was quite difficult to see!

So too see if the statue was free of flaws, imperfections or impurities, they would place the statue in the sun. After several hours, the wax would begin to melt, and the cracks would become noticeably visible on the surface.

So why does God test us?

Because in love he seeks our true prosperity.
The purpose of tests or trials is not pain we have to go through, but progress, not punishment but purity.
"Blessed is the man who endures temptation; for when he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him."
James 1:12 NKJV

Why Tests, Why Trials?

If we are not ready we will not be able to withstand the attacks of adversary.
Tests will prepare us, to make us ready!

"Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.
Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour."
1 Peter 5:6-8
There once was a fellow who, with his dad, farmed a little piece of land. Several times a year they would load up the old ox-drawn cart with vegetables and go into the nearest city to sell their produce. Except for their name and the patch of ground, father and son had little in common. The old man believed in taking it easy. The boy was usually in a hurry—the go-getter type.
      One morning, bright and early, they hitched up the ox to the loaded cart and started on the long journey. The son figured that if they walked faster, kept going all day and night, they would make it by early the next morning. So he kept prodding the ox with a stick, urging the beast to get a move on.
 “Take it easy, son,” said the old man. “You will last longer.”
      “But if we get to market ahead of the others, we will have a better chance of getting good prices,” argued the son.
      No reply. Dad just pulled his hat down over his eyes and fell asleep on the seat. Itchy and irritated, the young man kept goading the ox to walk faster. His stubborn pace refused to change.
      Four hours and four miles later down the road, they came to a little house. The father woke up, smiled, and said,“Here’s your uncle’s place. Let’s stop in and say hello.”
 “But we’ve lost an hour already,” complained the hot shot.
 “Then a few more minutes won’t matter. My brother and I live so close, yet we see each other so seldom,” the father answered slowly.
      The boy fidgeted and fumed while the two old men laughed and talked away almost an hour. On the move again, the man took his turn leading he ox. As they approached a fork in the road, the father led the ox to the right.
 “The left is the shorter way,” said the son.
 “I know it,” replied the old man,“but this way is much more scenic.”
 “Have you no respect for time?” the young man asked impatiently.
 “Oh, I respect it very much! That’s why I like to use it to look at beauty and enjoy each moment to the fullest.”
       The winding path led through graceful meadows, wildflowers, and along a rippling stream—all of which the young man missed as he churned within, preoccupied and boiling with anxiety. He didn’t even notice how lovely the sunset was that day.
      Twilight found them in what looked like a huge, colorful garden. The old man breathed in the aroma, listened to the bubbling brook, and pulled the ox to a halt.“Let’s sleep here,” he sighed.
      “This is the last trip I’m taking with you,” snapped the son. “You’re more interested in watching sunsets and smelling flowers than in making money!”
 “Why, that’s the nicest thing you’ve said in a long time,” smiled the dad. A couple of minutes later he was snoring—as his boy glared back at the stars. The night dragged slowly, the son was restless.
      Before sunrise the young man hurriedly shook his father awake. They hitched up and went on.  About a mile down the road they happened upon another farmer—a total stranger—trying to pull his cart out of the ditch.
 “Let’s give him a hand,” whispered the old man.
 “And lose some time?” the boy exploded.
 “Relax son. You might be in a ditch sometime yourself. We need to help others in need—don’t forget that.” The boy looked away in anger.
 It was almost eight o’clock that morning by the time the other cart was back on the road. Suddenly, a great flash split the sky. What sounded like thunder followed. Beyond the hills, the sky grew dark.
 “Looks like a big rain in the city,” said the old man.
 “If we had hurried, we’d be almost sold out by now,” grumbled the son.
 “Take it easy, you’ll last longer. And you’ll enjoy life so much more,” counseled the kind old gentlemen.
 It was late afternoon by the time they got to the hill overlooking the city. They stopped and sated down at it for a long, long time. Neither of them said a word. Finally, the young man put his hand on his father’s shoulder and said, “I see what you mean, Dad.”
 They turned their cart around and began to slowly roll away from what had once been the city of Hiroshima.  

The point of this story, is there are twists and turns in life that will not have answers for them until we are at the final destination!

But some lessons come, with God's grace, to usher healing into your life. Healing in some cases is never an easy task but when God steps on the scene, He can overcome much of the pain, grief, and bitterness that we are at times forced to endure.

We've all had difficult times in our lives, we've all been hurt by someone, in someway.
For some:
Maybe it was a parent, a mother or father, who did not fully provide for the needs you were supposed to have in life. Now, years have passed and you are still crippled by their negligence.

For others, it was an ex-boyfriend or husband or ex-girlfriend or wife who hurt you to the core, betraying the relationship with infidelity.
The awful, sick feeling ran deep in your soul.
The bitter sting of betrayal hurt worse than if you would have had to endure a physical blow.

Maybe it was a situation in life.
A stunning setback in business.
The loss of a career.
Troubling or mounting health problem.
The business partner who went back on his word.
Maybe it was the loss of someone very dear to you.   
Somebody you trusted, who was supposed to carry you, but dropped you, and crippled you for life.

"For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind."
2 Timothy 1:7

Can I tell you something?
Whatever it is, God can work it out!
God in His unbelievable power can help repair your heart, your mind, your emotions!
He can repair your business!

He can restore your health!
He can rebuild your marriage!

Whatever it is, no matter how bad you see it, HE CAN FIX IT!
Say that with me,
But we have to give it to Him to fix..

Let's take your car for example, it's not running right..
You know there are things that require fixing..
So how does it get fixed?

You MUST first find a qualified mechanic, someone who specializes in the repair, and then "release" the car to their care. Just because you drove it to the shop and parked it in the lot, it doesn't miraculously fix it.

Well, when we have an issue that needs to be "fixed", we have already at our disposal, the Most Highly Qualified Specialist, for whatever our need but we must "release" it into His care..

We can't hold onto them for dear life, holding them tightly in our clinched fists, exclaiming.. 
"I'm letting go God, go ahead...FIX IT! It's Yours.."

In closing.....

You may be struggling in your circumstances.
You may even feel that those circumstances are beyond your control.
And let's be honest, they most likely are...
But God has the power, the ability to correct us and help us to become what we can and ought to be!
And in and through Christ, the skies the limit to our potential, our circumstance!

"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation...."
2 Corinthians 5:17

"For behold, I create new heavens and a new earth...."
Isaiah 65:17

"For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision avails anything, but a new creation."
Galatians 6:15

Do you see that?!

Our Father, in heaven, is a Creator of Things New ...
He can and is able to take whatever you're going through.. and use the pain, the hurt,
and transform them into something New! 
All for your greater good and His Glory!

So instead of telling God how big your troubles are..
Try telling your troubles how BIG YOUR GOD IS!
But we must be trained, prepared and endure!
We must be able "To PASS THE TESTS!"

And now may the Lord bless you and keep you;
the Lord make His face shine upon you,
And be gracious to you;
The Lord lift up His countenance upon you,
And give you peace.

Now and forever, in Jesus' name
Copyright © 2019 All Rights Reserved
Brian Monzon Ministries

The Brian Monzon Ministries



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