Tests + Testimonies
I M P R E S S I O N S
In this world, you will have trouble. But take heart! For I have overcome the world. // John 16:33
Heartbreak is inherent to the human experience. In our journeys through the valley, it can be easy to lose sight of the hope and promise we have in Jesus. This series is designed to offer hope, encouragement, and purpose through powerful testimony, shared experience, and the redeeming work of the Father.
How many times have you found yourself asking God that very question? If I’m being honest, I’ve been there too many times to count. When life gets you down it’s almost instinctual to cry out and start questioning why God is putting you through so much heartache. It’s easy to find yourself asking “what have I ever done to deserve this? Why can’t I catch a break?”
I wish I could give you a simple answer, a resolute “this is why,” and have it all make sense, but the truth is, I can't. I don't know why things happen the way they do, but what I do know is that God is always faithful to work the good out of every situation we are in. I've also come to realize that our faith isn't faith if it hasn't been tested, if we aren't put in situations where trusting in the Father is our only option.
What good is our faith if it hasn’t been tested?
It’s so easy to praise God when things are going well in life. When our bank accounts are soaring and our relationships are flourishing, it’s easy to wake up in the morning and thank Jesus for the amazing life He has blessed us with, but how do we communicate with God when things aren’t going so well? Do we praise Jesus when we're on our last dime or when our hearts have been broken? Do we thank Him for the trials that we’ve faced and overcome?
It’s easy to become selfish in our faith - I’ve been there time and time again. I can get so caught up in what God can do for ME, how He’s working for ME, how He loves ME, but I often lose sight of the flip side to our relationship. We were all created in God’s image. He made us to be relational beings which means that He himself is a relational being. God doesn't need us, but He wants to be in relationship with us. He wants us to wholeheartedly love Him and trust Him to be our ultimate provider, source of strength, and deliverer through the highs and the lows. He doesn’t just want to be loved conditionally, He wants us to love Him unconditionally and with a fervent passion. He is worthy of our praise through the mountains and the valleys.
God blesses those who patiently endure testing and temptation. Afterward they will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love Him. // James 1:12
He will allow us to go through storms to develop a foundation of trust within us that will sustain us through whatever life may throw at us and that can be used to bring glory to God and good to others.
He never punishes us but will create discipline in us for our greater good. Sometimes the only way we learn is by walking through the fire - we may have to go through bad relationships to learn how we deserve to be loved. We may have to know what it is like to have nothing so that we understand the importance of giving back when we have more than enough. We may need to learn what it’s like to be broken so that we can realize that only He can fix us. He is not only our divine and loving Father but our greatest Teacher in life.
Furthermore, I firmly believe that we are put on this Earth with the purpose of pouring the same light and love the Father pours into us, into other people. I think that we are here to overcome our trials so that we can personally help those who will go through the same trials.
We must not just please ourselves. We should help others do what is right and build them up in the Lord. For even Christ didn’t live to please Himself. // Romans 15:2
I encourage you to always be willing to share your story with the world. When you become open to sharing all of the ways that Jesus has turned your trials into triumphs, you open a doorway to making genuine connections with other people and starting on the path of having a direct impact in the lives of others. If I never would have begun to share the trials that I have faced and overcome then I never would have been able to help the young students that I have the honor of leading, figure out how to start rising above the same situations.
I pray that you can remain strong in your faith through the tests. Keep your eyes pointed towards the sky while you’re in the valley and when you find yourself on the mountaintop again, don’t forget where you’ve been. Remember what it was like to walk on the path that you have conquered and then guide others along that rocky terrain. Overcome your tests and share your testimony, only then will you begin to uncover the true purpose in the pain.