I love taking tests. I always have. I love filling in bubbles and trying to figure out the correct answer. The problem is, while I like taking tests, I don’t like studying for them. Therefore, I don’t always perform well on them.

Just as growing up in this world means you’re going to have to take some tests in your educational journey, if you want to grow up to spiritual maturity, you’re going to have to endure some tests. But never confuse being tested with being tempted.

James said, “the testing of your faith produces perseverance.” (James 1:3 NIV) But James went on to clarify, “When tempted, no one should say, ‘God is tempting me.’ For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone.” (James 1:13 NIV)

Here’s the difference. God uses tests to develop your faith to make you stronger. Satan uses temptation to destroy your faith and make you weaker.

If a teacher wants you to pass (and almost every teacher does), you’ll tend to perform better than if a teacher wants you to fail. And the good news is, God wants you to pass!

Whatever it is that is pressing against your faith, you can tell if it’s from God if you’re being drawn to succeed and to grow. If you’re being drawn to fail and to move away from God, it’s not God’s doing.

And thank God for his tests because they’re all designed to grow you into the person he has purposed for you to be!

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