Friday, January 9, 2009

Scared about Hard Tests?

"Mom, do you get scared about hard tests?" my nine year old son asked me, after I picked him up from school. He was talking to me about a big science test that he is concerned about on this coming Monday. "Oh, yes, dear I get scared about hard tests, too."

My thoughts immediately turned to the current tests -- hard tests -- that I am facing right now. The thing about tests is that we often don't know the format or the types of questions that are going to be asked of us. Sometime we are not sure if we'll have the answers or have to learn by taking the test. We are not sure if it is going to contain "true or false" questions, in which we are going to have to discern truth from lies. Or whether there are going to be multiple choice questions, where we are going to have to look at all our options and choose the right one, following God's will. Or is the test going to contain long essay questions that are going to be laborious, intense, and needing of much information to answer? Or all of the above?

Having tests can be scary. And yet the bible says, "Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind" (James 1:2-6).

I have a hard time with that. Maybe we all do. It's hard for me to "consider it joy" and its hard for me to slow down and let perseverance do its work. But I do know though, from experience, that it is possible and God works powerfully in the process by giving us the wisdom that we need when we ask for it. Sometimes it is hard to believe, maybe even scary to believe.

Each day I ask the Lord, please reveal the truth to me today and help me to walk in Your ways. As I participate in the tests in this day, help me to understand the questions and believe that you will give me the answers, through your Word, prayer and the counsel of Godly people.

Yes, hard tests can be scary, but remember that we know the One who not only holds the answer key but is willing to give generously the answers that we ask for; all we need to do is believe in the One who is the Answer to all, Jesus, and cry out to Him.

Hold on to that truth, dear reader and believe, so that you are not tossed about on the sea, but can stand firm on the solid ground of God.

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