Tested and trusted

Carol was soaking up the sun's rays last summer at North Beach when a little boy in his swimming trunks, carrying a towel, came up to her and asked her, "Do you believe in God?"  She was surprised by the question but replied, "Why, yes, I do."  Then he asked her: "Do you go to church every Sunday?"  Again, her answer was "Yes!"  Then he asked: "Do you read your Bible and pray every day?"  Again she said, "Yes!"  But by now her curiosity was very much aroused.  At last the lad sighed and said, with obvious relief, "Will you hold my quarter while I go swimming?"
Carol had been tested and trusted.
God wants us to test His Word so that we may be tested and trusted by others. “Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. 2 This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, 3 but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God” (1 John 4:1-3).
Sadly, we often fail when we are tested by the world’s false theologies. We let ourselves become filthy with all the filth around us. We get sucked into discussions of morality and decency without going to the source for Christian morality and decency – God’s Word. We aren’t prepared to give an answer to every question we receive because we don’t know God’s Word well enough to give an answer.
We are tested … and we fail.
Consider how people in the Bible tested and trusted in God. After Adam plunged the whole world into sin, he tested God’s promises of the Savior from the Woman’s Seed and trusted that that Savior would become the Serpent-Crusher. Noah tested God’s words that He was fed up with humanity and then trusted God to keep him and his family safe in the ark during the world-wide Flood. Abraham tested God’s promises and at the age of 70 he left his homeland to become a foreigner in a strange land, trusting that the new land would become the Promised Land for his people one day.
David tested and trusted God to defeat the giant Goliath in the valley. Daniel tested and trusted God to keep him safe in the lions’ den. Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego tested and trusted God to protect them in the fiery furnace.
Jesus allowed Himself to be tested so that He might be trusted. Jesus was tested by the devil and overcame Satan’s temptations in the desert. Jesus was tested by healing people, feeding the masses, and providing wine for a wedding. He did all this so that the people might trust in Him as their Savior. Jesus wanted the religious leaders of the Jews to test His words against those of the prophets, so that they might trust that He really was the promised Messiah.
But Jesus’ greatest test of all came on the cross. That is where He fulfilled the test of His love for us.
“This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins” (1 John 4:9-10).
As we test and trust God, His words, His promises, and His love, then we are able to love others. “Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another” (1 John 4:11).
When we are worshiping God every week, listening to Him speak to us every day in our Bibles, and speaking to Him in prayer every day in our homes, then we are prepared to be tested and trusted by others.
Tested and trustworthy enough to even hold a quarter for a little boy. 

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