What would you imagine if I said, “Test?” My guess is you thought of a driver’s license or classroom examination if you are in your teens or early twenties. Maybe you remembered a recent eye exam if you’re in your forties. I chose not to mention the variety of tests doctors order for people my age.
However, some tests are common to all of us, especially those relating to trusting in God. Moses reminded God’s people of tests they faced (and failed) while moving from slavery to the freedom God was giving them. The people were jubilant and confident after crossing the Red Sea (cf. Exodus 15:1f) but afraid, grumbling, and wishing God had not rescued them a short time later (cf. Exodus 16:2-3).
In recounting their experiences, Moses said the Lord tested them by removing their usual support to show them that God is their security. God cares for His people but likely leads us through humbling experiences, not to embarrass us but to shift our trust from ourselves to Him.
In the words of Moses, and later Jesus, God matures us to realize that we “do not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord” (Deut. 8:3). Rejoice when you get the license, your eyes are healthy (at least, "for your age.") and the doctor smiles when reporting your lab results. Rejoice, but let us remember these are God's gifts. And, when the tests cause concern, then know the Lord is maturing your faith in Him.
As you read HLA student stories (online and in print), notice how the Lord is maturing them in faith both when things are “great” and when life is “hard.” Pray for them – and pray for ourselves – that our hope will be built on the Lord!