God at times when he sees it fit will test us; all of us will be tested. But how do you know when your faith is being tested? You will not always know but one way you can know when your faith is being tested is when something happens that should cause you to let go of God, give up on life or your dreams, curse God, or stop believing in God. For example your spouse just got killed in a car accident. You can’t understand why the Lord would allow this to happen when your spouse has been faithfully serving God for most of his life.
When our faith is being tested it is never an easy process, it can destroy us (or it can build us). Many people faith have been tested more than once in a matter of days. For example, Job in the Bible lost everything- his servants died and his ‘business’ went down in one day- in few moments Job was totally bankrupt- and if that wasn’t enough all his children died at the same time, he even lost his health and all in very short order. If he was hoping for a little comfort from his wife and close friends then he was in for a rude awakening as they offered him no comfort. In fact his wife faith wasn’t strong so she break under the pressure and told him to curse God, and his friends instead of comforting him basically told him that everything he was going true was his fault, he was finally paying for all the sins and injustice he have done.
We may not go through the things Job went through but all of us have been tested, tested with our finances, tested on the job, tested with our family, tested in ministry and so forth. However, in our times of testing one thing we can be assure of, God will give us hope, not only hope but grace that comes with great strength to go through it. As God said to the Children of Israel, as thy day is, so is thy strength (Deuteronomy 33:25).
So we know all of that, but that still doesn’t answer the question, what can I do when I am being tested by God? Here is what you can do:
- Don’t Panic. This is very important. Many times when something happens that brings discomfort or threatens to destroy something we have built, or an aspect of our lives the first thing we want to do is to try and fix everything. Well stop for a minute. Don’t try to fix everything immediately, you will only make things worse as many times when something bad happens we don’t always make all the right choices and so instead of making things better we often times make things worse. Instead take some time to think about what happened or is happening and then assess the situation and look at all options. Importantly, don’t attempt to make big decisions and solve everything right away but wait until you’re in a much better emotional state to do so.
- Seek the Lord guidance in prayer and through his Word, the Bible. Many times when something happens praying and learning what God is saying about our situation and to get his guidance is the last thing we want to do. We often times tries to solve the problem ourselves or seek someone else direction and then when things get worst we try to include God in our situation. We will even get upset with him for not showing up when we never included him in our problem(s) in the first place.
Through prayer we get connected with God and not only can we receive strength but we can receive words of wisdom, encouragement and direction from God. The same can be done by reading our Bible.
- Start praising and worshipping God. When our faith is being tested, at times praising God may not be the easiest thing to do as all we can think about is what we are facing. But this is the best time to start worshipping and praising God. Praise is a very powerful weapon that can changes things. When Jehoshaphat was facing a massive army (1 Chronicles 20), the most likely thing for him to do was to start panicking, that’s what we would do, but that was not the first thing he did. The first thing he did was to seek the Lord in prayer and fasting (vs 3-12). Of course Jehoshaphat was very much fearful, but he knew better than to panic as then he would have made wrong decisions that would have cost him the victory. When he sought the Lord, the Lord assured him that victory was already his. With this assurance, Jehoshaphat gathered the worshippers together to sing and dance before the Lord as he understood the power of praise and worship. Can you guess what happen when Judah worshiped God? Well you guess it, God delivered them from out of the hands of their enemies.
“And when they began to sing and to praise, the Lord set ambushments against the children of Ammon, Moab, and mount Seir, which were come against Judah; and they were smitten”– 2 Chronicles 20: 22
The only weapon Jehoshaphat and the people did used was to use their musical instruments and their voices, and the closes they went to their enemies was when they were gathering all the spoils after the Lord sent his angels to destroy his enemies (vs 18-25).
When Paul and Silas were in prison facing certain death at midnight they started singing praises unto God and God moved in a way that he never did before, their praises caused an earthquake and all the chains of not only Paul and Silas fell off but also all the prisoners that heard them singing (Acts 16:25-26). God is attracted to praise and so when you praise him he will come and in the presence of the Lord there is healing and deliverance.
Praise and worship also serves as a form of therapy that somehow comforts you in your situation
What is it you’re going through right now? Like Jehoshaphat and Paul and Silas, praise your way through it and out of it.
- Be around prayer warriors. In times of need it is very important that we surround ourselves with people that will bring our situation before the Lord constantly. Through their prayers the Lord will send help and give us strength to endure. At his timing he will work everything out according to his perfect will. When your faith is being tested, this is the time to be in dialogue with friends and family that knows how to bring your situation before the Lord and help you through it by comforting you.
- 5. Have an attitude of gratitude. Being grateful for life, your accomplishments and all you have and the persons who the Lord put in your life, even if they are no longer alive or with you, can change the way how you feel about your situation. Being grateful will not change what we are going through, but it will help us to stay positive and help you through a very difficult time in your life.
- Encourage yourself. When David’s friends thought of stoning him he had nowhere to go and no one to encourage him, but instead of drowning in depression or confusion he encouraged himself and so he was able to receive divine direction and help for his present situation. Sometimes we will not have other people around us to encourage us or to even pray for us, we have to do it ourselves. People can give good advice, but at the end of the day we have to encourage ourselves. This is no time to have a pity party (being depress and looking down at yourself), this is a time to take up your bed and walk. This is a time to strengthen yourself.
- Don’t give up on life, and do take care of yourself. Understand this, it is not the end. It is very important for you to take care of yourself. Being tired, stress, worn out will not help your situation nor will it help you. If you lost a love one, I am sure he/she will not have a problem if you take care of yourself. Eat properly, get some well needed rest, exercise, and keep your spiritual life up. No matter what happens, take care of YOU!
- Trust God, no matter what. Even when you feel like you have no reason to trust him and he has let you down trusting God will help you to in your time of need as you will have hope, hope will give you the strength to rise above your situation. It is very easy for us to lose focus and to lose faith and hope when our faith is being tested. God says in Philippians 4:19 that, He shall supply all our need according to his riches in glory. Whatever may be your need, God promise that he will supply it. Do you need strength, he will be your strength giver. Do you need a lawyer that is what he will be unto you. Whatever you want God to be for you and whatever help you need he promise that he will come true for you.
Trusting God will help you to see through spiritual eyes what we could not see nor understand naturally. Proverbs 3:5-6 instructs us to “Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.”
Your season of testing may be long and difficult, but God promise that he will never forsake you. At times you will feel like he is not there, but that is the time he is carrying you. God loves you, and his love for you will not allow him not to be there for you. Do not lose hope, trust God even when it is very difficult for you to do so, be constant in prayer and reading his words and he will take you through it.
By Jerome Ricketts