When we buy a device, we try that out; because we want to know if it meets our expectations. God does something like that by testing all who say they believe Him, in order to bring them to light or they think what they say. Because believing is not something vague and non-committal, but active, working through love for God and people. Nor does man himself set the criteria for what faith is. God requires a certain faith determined by Him. Only those who show that faith is eligible for the eternal life that He offers. The Lord Jesus once wondered:
"... when the Son of man cometh, shall He find faith on earth?" (Luke 18: 8)
It would be good, therefore, if we regularly examined seriously in ourselves, by reading the Bible well and praying to God, or the faith that we say we have, in accordance with the belief that He asks of us, as Paul urgently recommends 2 Corinthians 13: 5
"Put yourself to the test, whether you are in the faith, examine yourself".
Eternal life is too costly to deal with it nonchalantly, thinking that we are saved anyway. Paul wants to save us from disappointment on the day of judgment. But except that we ourselves should try ourselves, God does it for us too. He knows how far He can go so that we do not have to succumb to the pressure:
"You do not have to endure a superhuman temptation. God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted above power, for He will also deal with the outcome with the temptation so that you are resistant to it ". (1 Corinthians 10:13).
"For because He Himself (Christ) has suffered temptations, He can help those who are tempted ...". (Hebrews 4:15, see also 2:18)
In a number of cases requests and tests are synonymous. God does not test or request randomly, but with a purpose: the strengthening and growth of our faith, so that we hold our hope of eternal life from the coming of the Lord Jesus from heaven. Because He tests us, we get, as it were, insight into the extent of our faith at that moment. This offers us the possibility to move from one phase to the next phase of our faith so that this develops, grows. The growth and strengthening of our faith are visible in our hopes and good virtues:
"... for you know that the testing of your faith works out perseverance. But that perseverance must be fully effective so that you are perfect and blameless and fail in anything. " (James 1: 3-4)
"... we know that the tribulation works out perseverance, and perseverance hopes, and testing, hope; and hope does not make you ashamed ... ". (Romans 5: 3-5)
"... if you only remain true and steadfast in the faith ...". (Colossians 1: 21-23)
The word chant is also used in the Bible; not in the sense of a punishment from rejection, but rather of a correction from love, because God does not want the people He loves to be lost. As a father and educator, He gives frameworks for our lives, so that we do not step outside. This includes small penalties, which must protect us from much worse consequences. When we accept what He teaches us, our faith will bear eternal fruit. The Lord Jesus compared this with a winegrower who shortens the vines of a vine so that it produces more and better fruit:
"All whom I love, I rebuke and chasten I; then be diligent and repent. " (Revelation 3:19)
"... because he who loves him chastises the Lord, and chastens every son whom he receives ... he does it (chastising) for our good, that we may partake of his holiness ... discipline will bring to them who are trained by it a peaceful fruit, which exists in righteousness ". (Hebrews 12: 4-11, 5:14, see Jeremiah 10: 23-24)
"Every branch to Me (Jesus), which does not bear fruit, He prunes (God), that it may bear more fruit". (John 15: 1-8)
In the first century, the strength of the faith of the followers of Christ was especially tested by tribulation and suffering: they persisted in extermination, humiliation, flogging and impending death, or they said for fear that Jesus is not alive and that they are not followers. were from Him?
"... served the Lord with all humility, with tears and trials, which happened to me (Paul) through the attacks of the Jews ...". (Acts 20:19)
"Do not be afraid of what you will suffer. Behold, the devil will throw some of you into prison, that you may be tempted ... Be faithful to death, and I will give you the crown of life. " (Revelation 2:10)
"Because they have proved themselves under much tribulation ...". (2 Corinthians 8: 2, Romans 16:10)
These afflictions are part of the process of purification that God applies, on the one hand, to purify those who are not worthy of receiving eternal life, and on the other hand, those who are worthy to completely cleanse the last remnants of evil in them:
"Beloved, let not the fiery blaze, which serves as a trial, astonish you ... On the contrary, rejoice as you partake of Christ's sufferings, that you may also rejoice in the revelation of his glory". (1 Peter 4: 12-13)
"Rejoice in it (hope), even though you are now saddled for a short time by all kinds of temptations, that the authenticity of your faith, more precious than perishable gold, tried by fire, may be praised and glorified and honored. are at the revelation of Jesus Christ ". (1 Peter 1: 6-7, see also Luke 22: 31-32a, for the authenticity of faith Revelation 3:18).
For those who hold the one and true faith, through oppression and suffering, whether light or heavy, but also in the temptations that we meet inside and outside of us, this beatitude applies:
"Blessed is the man who perseveres in temptation, for when he has passed the test, he will receive the crown of life, which he promised to those who love him." (James 1:12)
Question for consideration:
Have you experienced in your life something of the choices that God has made for you?
The free will and choice of man
Testing involves choice and for that, God has given us a free will. He indicates in advance the choices, with the consequences they have for our future destiny (Deuteronomy 30: 11-20, Joshua 24: 14-18). God helps us make the best choice (Psalm 25:12, Romans 8: 26-30). The idea of eternal predestination is therefore contradictory. God knows all things, but He does not determine what we do and do, as if we are robots or willless puppets, but what our destiny will be, precisely what He saw beforehand of our (un) faith and our (un) obedience. What else would the sentence be of praying whether God will keep us in and save from trial (Matthew 6:13, Revelation 3:10, 2 Peter 2: 9)? He has set the criteria for whoever is fit to be a servant in his Kingdom and on that basis He judges us (2 Timothy 2: 19-22). God is righteous in his election and judgment (2 Thessalonians 1: 3-12, Romans 3: 4-6, 2: 1-11, Ephesians 1: 3-14, Romans 9: 14-24). Thus God could also testify beforehand of the righteousness of his Son (1 Peter 1:11, Matthew 12: 17-18, 3:17, 17: 5).
Thanks for reading.
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