The Great Benefits of Testing
God uses difficult phases of our lives – tests, “wilderness experiences,” “dark nights of the soul” – to prepare us for growth and to refine or purify us. But he can only do that if we cooperate with him. I’ve been through two extended periods like that and they were very difficult. In retrospect, however, I can see what God did in me during those periods and I wouldn’t take anything for the benefits those tests produced in me – the refining, the character development, the spiritual growth, the realigning of values and priorities, the maturing of my relationship with God.
I’m a much, much better person now. I can serve God much more effectively and I’m better equipped to fulfill God’s purpose for my life. My advice: Ask God to use your difficulties to transform you into the person he created you to be.
Romans 8:28-29, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.”
James 1:2-4, “Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”
A related audio: Lessons from God’s Delays
(time: 39:15, listen online or download)
This is my testimony and teaching about the nature of delays, tests and their purposes. This presentation was a candid description of my experience at the time. (Presented to a church men’s group, March 2014)
I’m glad to report that since that presentation, I’ve begun seeing the results Father promised.