Learn, Test, Re-Learn, Re-Test - Part 2

Author - Emma Stanley

If you couldn't have guessed, this blog is a part two to last weeks. This post aims to shed light on the purpose and significance of God's testing and retesting, offering a perspective that can help us navigate these experiences with greater understanding and resilience.

Understanding God's Testing
Throughout history, numerous religious texts and stories mention instances where God tested individuals to assess their faith, character, and commitment. These tests are not designed to break us but rather to refine and strengthen our spiritual growth. God's testing is an opportunity for personal growth, self-reflection, and deepening our relationship with Christ.

When God tests us, it is often in response to our prayers for guidance, wisdom, or strength. These tests can manifest in various forms, such as personal challenges, loss, unexpected setbacks, or even moral dilemmas. It is essential to remember that God knows our potential and wants us to fulfill it. These trials serve as a means to reveal our true selves, exposing areas that need improvement and growth.

The Purpose of Retesting
While some may question why God would retest individuals after they have already faced challenges, it is crucial to understand that retesting is not a sign of failure or punishment. Rather, it is an opportunity for individuals to demonstrate their growth, learn from past experiences, and reinforce their commitment to their faith.

Retesting allows us to demonstrate that we have truly internalized the lessons learned from previous trials. It helps us evaluate if we have successfully integrated the wisdom gained and have become more resilient, compassionate, and faithful. Retesting also provides an opportunity to measure our progress and identify areas where we may still need to grow, allowing us to continue on our spiritual journey with renewed vigor.

Now that I've got the formal stuff out of the way let's dive into the application of this test and retest way of learning that I got to experience. So what did I do differently from the first meeting and the one I barged right into without giving a thought to Galatians 6? I did nothing. I did not sit in communion with the Holy Spirit, I instead sat in communion with my feelings and emotions and let those take over my thoughts and crowd out the scripture and prayer that had covered our first meeting together. This didn't mean that I forgot about it or didn't feel as if it was important to remember, I decided instead to follow the desires of my flesh and that's where it of course went wrong. It’s almost as if it’s a question of what did I not do instead of a question of what did I do differently. I didn’t surrender the conversation to Christ, I was Emma-led instead of Spirit-led, and that allowed more bitterness and resentment over the situation to enter my heart and not allow me to love my brother-in-Christ in a radical way. This all lasted about as long as a fly sitting on a trap. The Lord was gracious to remind me of my own times of hurt and how that hurt affected others and how he allowed me to overcome and to restore those relationships I had hurt and I cried out to him in those times and He was faithful to provide comfort and peace and honestly a plan of action. So that's what I did, I called out to the Lord and He gave me another chance to love this brother and friend and apply His word in Galatians 6 in a radical way. You would be a few sandwiches short of a picnic if you thought I didn't jump on that chance and start our journey of reconciliation and have been praising the Lord for the sanctifying work He is doing in my life because He gave me that re-test.

So that's it, Arlie tells us all the time "you have not because you ask not" and as much as it pains me to say: he was right, I would not have had the second chance that I was given if not for crying out to the Lord to ask that He allow me another chance, a chance where I got to sit and be Spirit-led and not Emma-led. Praise the Lord for His love and desire to restore His children to Him and to one-another.

If I were so bold as to ask for prayer (which I am) I would ask that you please pray for our team as we continue to learn how to share our faith in preparation for our mission to Oaxaca coming at the end of the month! That we would love each other well and continue to seek ways to further the Kingdom!

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