"Woman, you have great faith! Your request is granted." Matthew 15:28
Tests are quite common. Commercial products, especially medications, are tested before they are released to the public. People, too, are tested. They must pass driver's license tests, physical exams, Scholastic Aptitude Tests, and the like.
God, too, gives tests. He subjected Abraham's faith to a severe test when He told him to sacrifice Isaac, the son of promise. Jesus was tested three times in the wilderness, but by the devil. As a teacher, He gave an oral test to Philip when He asked, "Where shall we buy bread for these people to eat?" (John 6:5). We are expressly told, "He asked this only to test him, for He already had in mind what He was going to do" (John 6:6). Jesus tested the faith of the Canaanite mother when for a while He seemingly ignored her pleas for her demon-possessed daughter. She passed the test with flying colors, for Jesus said, "Woman, you have great faith! Your request is granted" (Matthew 15:28).
We know that there are also tests of temptation for evil, and these originate with Satan, as did Jesus' temptations in the desert. Also the world--other people--can be the source. Job was tempted to commit suicide when his wife said to him, "Curse God and die" (Job 2:9). Judas Iscariot was tempted by his own inward sin, his greed, when he stole from the disciples' treasury and when, in the end, he betrayed Jesus for 30 pieces of silver. Satan was in on this, too.
What shall we do when tests of faith come to us? We do what Jesus did: adhere to the Word of God. We seek to grow stronger in our faith by frequent participation in the Lord's Supper. God gives us strength when we ask Him for it. We recall that Jesus overcame His agony in the Garden of Gethsemane and went forth to Calvary's cross to give His life for our salvation, being strengthened by God through an angel. We become more frequent in prayer, asking God to strengthen us. We apply ourselves to our work with diligence. Through these activities God will give us passing grades when He gives us His own SAT: Spiritual Aptitude Test.
PRAYER: Dear Lord Jesus, give me strength enough to meet every test of faith. Amen.
(Devotions from "With Jesus Every Day" copyright 1997, CPH. All Rights Reserved. No part of this publication may be printed, reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without prior written permission of Concordia Publishing House. Permission is granted for one-time emailing of this link to a friend. For information on other devotional material, please contact CPH at 800-325-3040 or visit CPH at www.cph.org.)
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