God is Testing Us and Preparing Us!
1. God TESTS those He loves!
Exodus 20:20 - "Moses said to the people, 'Do not be afraid. God has come to test you, so that the fear of God will be with you to keep you from sinning.'"
Deuteronomy 8:2 - "Remember how the Lord your God led you all the way in the wilderness these forty years to humble you and test you in order to know what was in your heart, whether or not you would keep his commands."
Hebrews 12:6 - "Because the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and he chastens everyone he accepts as his son."
2. God continues to REFINE us!
Psalm 66:10-12 - "For you God tested us, you refined us like silver...we went through fire and water, but you brought us to a place of abundance."
Jeremiah 6:29 - "The bellow blows fiercely to burn away the lead with fire, but the refining goes on in vain."
I Peter 1:6-7 - "In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that your faith - of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire - may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed."
3. God goes to remarkable lengths to GIVE us His values.
Romans 5:3-5 - "Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces perseverance, perseverance character and character hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us."
James 1:2-4 - "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 ad complete, not lacking in anything."
Deuteronomy 8:3 - "He humbled you, causing you to hunger and then feeding you with manna, which neither you nor your ancestors had known, to teach you that man does not live by bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord."
Through this process of SANCTIFICATION God prepares us for life and ministry.
2 Corinthians 1:3-4 - "Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God."
2 Corinthians 3:18 - "And we all...are being transformed into his image with ever increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit."
Hebrews 13:20-21 - "Now may the God of peace...equip you with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen!"