Do you like to take tests? Most likely, the answer is no. It’s not the most enjoyable activity in the world. After all, being under pressure to remember all the answers to all the questions puts a strain on your mind … and your body. However, if there were never tests, there would never be new things to learn, new things to study, and new ways to grow … and growing is an essential part of being a Christian. It’s not good to stay the same forever; it’s important to be open to change and open to new challenges. As we do, we find we have more opportunities to live for Jesus. We find we have more people to witness to. We discover both the gifts we have to pass on to others as well as the gifts other people have that get passed on to us. Therefore, tests become a part of our everyday lives whether we realize it or not. James 1:2-4 The Message (MSG) says, “Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides. You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors. So don’t try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way.” And James 1:12 The Message (MSG) goes on to say, “Anyone who meets a testing challenge head-on and manages to stick it out is mighty fortunate. For such persons loyally in love with God, the reward is life and more life.” So, these timeless truths further enlighten us to the importance of not only tests, but also of passing the tests; that is, passing therm to the extent that we “stuck it out” until the end … we didn’t give up half way through … we didn’t try to get out of anything prematurely, but, rather, we allowed the test to do its work so we could become mature; so we could become all God wanted us to become … for His glory alone. So, today, if you are facing a test – of any kind – keep in mind that it does, indeed, have a greater purpose … probably greater than you could ever imagine! That will help you endure to the end … and one day, when you see Jesus face to face you can have the expectation to hear the words of Matthew 25:21 (NIV) that tells us, “…Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!”
Have you ever had a car that you thought would be a reliable, dependable vehicle only to discover later it was actually a lemon? You had invested so much money, so much time, and so much effort into trying to do the best you could into getting the best you could afford only to have your hopes crushed. What a disappointment. How about if you’re a business owner? Have you been diligent in carefully screening all prospective employees to find the right match for your company, thinking you’ve done all you could to ensure you would be hiring a dependable worker only to discover later they had lied on their resume and had actually convinced other people to lie just so they would get a positive reference when you called to check out the person’s character. Wouldn’t you be disappointed? Wouldn’t you wish there was some foolproof way to be sure the next time you hired someone you wouldn’t have to go through the same thing again? Don’t we all wish that there could be something or someone that we could trust to be absolutely, completely dependable? Lamentations 3:21-23 (NIV) says, “Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope: Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” Did you catch that? The Lord’s compassions are new EVERY MORNING … every.morning. … Every Morning … every single morning. This timeless truth assures us that every day we can trust that the Lord is absolutely, completely dependable to be compassionate towards us. We can be absolutely sure He will be faithful. We can know, without a shadow of a doubt that He will always be there for us in whatever challenges we face … good or bad. Webster’s defines compassion as a “sympathetic consciousness of others’ distress together with a desire to alleviate it.” So, when we comprehend that God Himself is compassionate towards us and that His compassion is new every single morning … no matter what we are going through, no matter what we are facing, no matter whether we bought a lemon for a car, whether we hired an undependable employee, whether we ourselves need to learn how to be more dependable ourselves … no matter what we face in life, we can trust that God will ALWAYS be there for us in a dependable, compassionate way that desires to alleviate whatever distress we may be in. So, if you need anything … anything at all: strength, help, hope, encouragement, love, peace, joy, wisdom, enablement to keep on keeping on … whatever it may be, you can trust that God will be absolutely, completely 100% dependable every single morning to compassionately be there for you to meet your need. He is faithful. He will never let you down. His desire is always for your ultimate good. His ways are higher than our ways, so sometimes His ultimate good may look different than what you may consider to be good … meaning you will most likely still have to go through some hard stuff in life … but our ultimate good always comes whenever we trust the Lord to give us the strength to get through whatever we may need to go through and when we learn whatever valuable lesson we may need to learn in the process. So, today, whatever you are facing, know that God wants to compassionately be involved in it. He compassionately wants to help you in more ways than you could ever imagine. He wants you to trust that He, alone, is absolutely, completely dependable … through it all.