Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Pointless Testing

Four years of radiation, chemo and hormone therapy have not stopped the cancer. The doctor finally tells the family what he has known for months. The patient, tired of the treatment, has begun to accept his prognosis. Then, after months of hospice care, a family member shows up and insists on a new round of testing to determine how far the illness has spread. The tests are pointless. They change nothing, and the family member will not likely find the peace they think the results will give them.

God never tests us pointlessly. From our perspective, His testing sometimes seems to be so that He can diagnosis our hearts. He needs no test to see what's in our hearts, but we sometimes need to be tested to find out what we are really made of. And, we need testing to see what God is made of, for when He tests our faith He proves Himself. He proves He is faithful to complete the work He has begun in us.

His testing is not for diagnosis, but for the completion of our faith. So, we can rejoice every time we are tested, knowing that the testing of our faith produces steadfastness in us. That steadfastness, or patience, has its full effect in us making us perfect and complete so that we do not lack anything that is required for a life that glorifies the one who never tests us pointlessly. (James 1:3-4)