As I had my time with the Lord this morning of course I'm thinking about all of my students and teacher friends going back to school today. All across the nation good teachers are working hard to give their students an education and knowledge. As they teach a concept they will then present a test to evaluate how well the student has learned the material. The test not only lets the teacher know how the student is doing, but it lets the student see what they need to spend some more time on.
It made me think about the tests God gives us. As we read the Word, learn, and grow, tests will come. Some will be from the Lord to test our faith, some will be attacks of the enemy, and some will just be circumstances of life from living in a fallen world. Today I'm just discussing the tests that God gives.
I'm going to discuss an area of testing that is common and one that I've FINALLY for the most part gotten victory in. (That's right I always rat on myself so this time I'm going to talk about where I've grown LOL)
As a teenager I had a ridiculous temper and small amount of patience. I wasn't necessarily "rude" to people. I just hated when things didn't go right. If I spilled my drink I got so frustrated it could almost ruin my whole day. If I banged my elbow on the door there was no doubt some choice words about to fly out of my mouth. As I got saved and began to work on my temper those words became cleaner but the temper and frustration level was the same. It wasn't until after I graduated highschool that the Lord began to deal with me on patience, temper, frustrations etc.
I got to be a pretty chilled and laid back person. Most of my friends from college would describe me as a "go with the flow" type of girl. Not ever real wound up, frustrated, angry, etc. I remember one particular time that this was tested. A friend had just bought me a new Bible (I LOVE NEW BIBLES). I ran, showered, and came out to look for my new Bible. I was looking for it everywhere and then something caught my eye in the back yard! MY NEW BIBLE, CHEWED UP (by my blessing of a dog). Oh, I started my normal routine I'd learned to keep myself calm. I began to quote the fruits of the Spirit. "Jessika, Love, Joy, Peace, Patience..." However, as I got nearer to the Bible on the ground my frustration and blood pressure rose as well. "Stinking patience, I'm going to show that dog some stinking patience". By the time I picked up the Bible I was irate. I picked that Bible up, turned around to my playful loving dog, and chunked the Bible at her. Proceeded right back inside for another shower to calm down.
And yea... that story is improvement. LOL. Now I usually pass those tests with flying colors. As I was leaving Liberty this past week. I left the house I was staying at to go get boxes from my parents house. Upon arriving at my parents house I realized I left something at the other house. I load up my car and head to the other house. Upon arriving there I realized I left something at my parents. I proceed back to their house. As I'm loading up a box from my parents house everything falls out all over the ground. As I began to pick up the things I was singing a song just happy go lucky, when it hit me. Years ago I would have been so frustrated with the situation, with myself, etc I would have already been into a complete rage and yet I didn't even seem to notice that MULTIPLE THINGS WERE GOING WRONG. I thanked the Holy Spirit for how He's helped me to become a less frustrated, less irritated, more patient person and went on back to singing.
We'll often be tested to see whether we allow our emotions to dictate our actions or the Holy Spirit. We'll be tested to see if when squeezed the fruits of the Spirit come out or the fruit of our flesh. Examine yourself. We all have areas we need to grow in and thank God with the help of the Holy Spirit, we will grow.
Be Blessed, J. Tate