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Day Eight
Pastor David Biewald
"Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything." James‬ ‭1:2-4‬ ‭(NIV‬‬)

Have you ever taken a major exam or test after studying for hours, days, weeks or even months? Can you remember the stress, the sweat, and the constant tug of war inside of you between possibly failing or passing the test and what it could mean for you? Tests are a part of life. They come in various seasons of life in many different ways. 

In school, we had to pass tests to go on to the next grade, or we had to pass a test to get our license; regardless of the type of test, one thing is for sure, when we passed, we felt such relief at knowing that this is something that we’ve mastered. Passing tests is a universal thing, and it is also in the Kingdom of God. When we put our faith in something, life will come to test that reality sooner or later. We can often form unhealthy tendencies when we do not properly assess what’s happening around us and what God is trying to teach us!

However, the encouragement comes from knowing that regardless of the test, though it may be long and hard, at the end of it, we will have mastered the lesson and come out looking more like Jesus in our conduct. Maybe instead of asking, “Why is this happening to me?” we should be asking, “God, what am I going to learn through this?” When we realize that testing is growth, it becomes a true source of joy. 

PRAYER: Father, help us to be patient and joyful in testing and know that you’re producing hope and maturity in us through all these things in Jesus’ name, Amen.