God tests us. He doesn’t let us float through life without adversity. It’s often a sign that we belong to Him. We see this concept here in Psalm 11, and throughout Scripture.
The LORD tests the righteous, but his soul hates the wicked and the one who loves violence.
Psalm 11:5 (ESV)
Oh, let the evil of the wicked come to an end, and may you establish the righteous– you who test the minds and hearts, O righteous God!
Psalm 7:9 (ESV)
You have tried my heart, you have visited me by night, you have tested me, and you will find nothing; I have purposed that my mouth will not transgress.
Psalm 17:3 (ESV)
For you, O God, have tested us; you have tried us as silver is tried.
Psalm 66:10 (ESV)
After these things God tested Abraham and said to him, “Abraham!” And he said, “Here am I.”
Genesis 22:1 (ESV)
And he cried to the LORD, and the LORD showed him a log, and he threw it into the water, and the water became sweet. There the LORD made for them a statute and a rule, and there he tested them . . .
Exodus 15:25 (ESV)
Then the LORD said to Moses, “Behold, I am about to rain bread from heaven for you, and the people shall go out and gather a day’s portion every day, that I may test them, whether they will walk in my law or not.
Exodus 16:4 (ESV)
And you shall remember the whole way that the LORD your God has led you these forty years in the wilderness, that he might humble you, testing you to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep his commandments or not.
Deuteronomy 8:2 (ESV)
. . . who fed you in the wilderness with manna that your fathers did not know, that he might humble you and test you, to do you good in the end.
. . . you shall not listen to the words of that prophet or that dreamer of dreams. For the LORD your God is testing you, to know whether you love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul.
Deuteronomy 13:3 (ESV)
The crucible is for silver, and the furnace is for gold, and the LORD tests hearts.
Proverbs 17:3 (ESV)
Behold, I have refined you, but not as silver; I have tried you in the furnace of affliction.
Isaiah 48:10 (ESV)
And I will put this third into the fire, and refine them as one refines silver, and test them as gold is tested. They will call upon my name, and I will answer them. I will say, “They are my people”; and they will say, “The LORD is my God.”
Zechariah 13:9 (ESV)
In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith–more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire–may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.
I Peter 1:6-7 (ESV)
Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him.
James 1:2 (ESV)
I haven’t covered all the places in Scripture where God says He tests those who love Him. Why did I give so many examples? Because I’m a bit tired of hearing the prosperity gospel; I’m tired of hearing pastors and preachers say that Christians don’t have to be sick, or poor, or depressed . . . that we can live this life victoriously! I agree that we can live victoriously, and that we have nothing to fear:
For the LORD is righteous; he loves righteous deeds; the upright shall behold his face.
Psalm 11:7 (ESV)
Ultimately, if we trust God and take refuge in Him, we will see Him and defeat death. But we will face trials while on earth. There is a distinct possibility that we will be sick, or poor, or depressed, or even die. God’s not like a giant candy machine in the sky. He wants us to prove our love to Him. He wants to have a living, breathing, interactive relationship with us. So, if you’re trusting God with hopes of becoming rich or successful here on earth, don’t believe the lie. You might be successful by human standards, and you might not be. But one thing you can be sure of – if you love God, you will be tested.