Tag Archives: testing

“But anyone who hears my teaching and doesn’t obey it is foolish, like a person who builds a house on sand.  When the rains and floods come and the winds beat against that house, it will collapse with a mighty crash.”  (Matthew 7:26-27, NLT)

Most of our personal calamities or failures occur for lack of obedience to Jesus’ teaching.  It is not because the calamity is God’s “payback” for our disobedience; rather, it is because we have ignored God’s blueprint that we discover, frequently in tears, that our own designs are inadequate for the stresses of life.  In this instance, we are responsible for our choices.

It is helpful to note that in Jesus’ parable, both houses are beat upon by the rains, and assaulted by the floods.  However, only the house built on a solid rock is able to withstand the events that test our foundation.

When the next storm of life arrives, will your life’s foundation prove adequate?  Jesus says, “Anyone who listens to my teaching and follows it is wise, like a person who builds a house on solid rock.” (verse 24)  – Luther

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“So Joseph got up and took the Child and His mother while it was still night, and left for Egypt.  He remained there until the death of Herod.  This was to fulfill what had been spoken by the Lord through the prophet: ‘Out of Egypt I called My Son.’”  (Matthew 2:14-15a, NASB)

Egypt. Time and again in the Bible, Egypt becomes the place of exile and pain.  Joseph (of many-colored coat fame; please see Genesis 37 for details) found himself in Egypt after being sold by his brothers.  The Children of Israel were delivered from slavery in Egypt in what is known as the Exodus.  And now, the Christ child is taken to Egypt by His parents to escape Herod’s slaughter of children.

Exile may have its purposes, but it, nevertheless, also had its own proximate difficulties: Loneliness, unfamiliarity, suffering.

Have you ever been exiled to your own “Egypt”?  Are you there today?

If you are, be resolute in the knowledge that God is in “Egypt” with you; that God will never forsake you; and that God will, in the fullness of time, deliver you.  – Luther

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“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)

The disciple of Jesus receives a test as a good thing.

Although times of examination are seldom pleasant, the outcome of testing reveals the nature of the stuff we’re made.  Only the person who has persevered under trial knows — really knows — the stuff of which he or she is made.  Without testing, we’re just guessing.

To “pass” a test of our spiritual selves requires only perseverance.  We need not persevere perfectly, but we do need to persevere faithfully.

The strength to persevere comes when we keep ours eyes fixed on Christ under even the most difficult of circumstances.  Doing so assures capital “L” Life for us.  We apprehend it in no other way.  – Luther

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