God doesn’t pressure us to be what we are not, nor to do what we cannot do. God does, however, test us … but it’s not what you probably think.
When Daniel was a little boy, he’d ride his bicycle in the street with the other neighbor children. He was still young and had training wheels on the bike that helped him learn to balance. One day I was watching him and saw that he was riding on the two wheels rather than on the training wheels.
As happens with all children, bicycle-riding turned to some other game. While he was busy, I loosened the training wheels so they’d no longer hold the bike upright.
Daniel eventually came back to get his bicycle, hopped on and began riding down the street. I watched as sheer panic hit him. He realized the training wheels were no longer attached and holding him steady. I took hold of the back of his bicycle, steadied him, and assured him that he could do it without the training wheels. He could ride his bike … and he did.
The Bible tells us that God knows everything. His knowledge is perfect (Job 37:16) and beyond measure (Psalm 147:5). He even knows what we’re going to say before we speak (1 Sam 16:7) and what we’re going to do before we do it (Matt 26:33-34).
When God tests us, He doesn’t do it to find out what we’re going to do, or say, or think, or be. He tests us so that WE find out what we’ll do, or say, or think, or be. We need to know if our faith is genuine. We need to know if we trust Him enough to obey under every circumstance. We need to know if our hearts are truly loyal to Him. We need to know that we can ride the bicycle without training wheels.
You have been grieved by various trials, that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ (First Peter 1:2, 3).