Why Does God Test Us?
By A. Lloyd Tucker
September 18, 2022
We Christians hear this a lot: “He is testing me. He is testing her. He is testing them. And, all too often, it is followed with a comment similar to: “…to see if they trust in Him: to see if they have the faith…”.
This common belief has been repeated even by men of God who have demonstrated:
1. They have great faith.
2. They don’t actually believe what they just said.
So, why does God test us? Let’s look at the example of George Muller. This was a man known for his great faith in God. Yet, in one of his writings, he said: “… “The Lord was saying by this poverty, 'I will now see whether you truly lean upon me and whether you truly look to me.'
How can we, mere humans, think that God will learn anything from us? He tells us in Isaiah:
55:8-9 New International Version:
8“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the LORD.
9“As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.
I used to teach middle school and high school. I would devise tests to see just what my students had learned. This let me know how I was doing as a teacher: should I move on to the next objective or tarry a while and re-teach some aspect of what I had been teaching? In man’s nature, the tests always have to tell the TESTER something. That is not so with God.
“… If we, indeed, desire our faith to be strengthened, we should not shrink from opportunities where our faith may be tried, and, therefore, through the trial, be strengthened.” In the above quote, Muller clearly states the reason for the testing or trial is so we can be strengthened, not so God gets a revelation of our faith. He is the one who initially gave us that measure of faith and it is up to us to allow it to grow. (Romans 12:3)
“Would the believer, therefore, have his faith strengthened, he must especially, give time to God, who tries his faith in order to prove to His child, in the end, how willing He is to help and deliver him, the moment it is good for him.” In this quote, Muller asserts the testing is not for God to learn anything. The learning and growing is for man, not God.
What did God learn when he sent Abraham to sacrifice Isaac? Didn’t God already know Abraham’s heart? Did He not already know that Abraham would do what God told Him? Otherwise, why would God have arranged for a goat to be caught in the brambles? When asked by his son where was the sacrifice, Abraham replied: In this case, I think this incident served more as a lesson for those who would read about it years hence.
The Lord’s word never changes; and, it tells us that God is omniscient. He is the creator; he learns nothing from the created. So, no! Our tests are not for Him to see what we will do. He tells us in Matthew 6:8 “Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him. Our trials or tribulations are to show us how close we are walking with Him, and how much faith we have. Do we blame Him? Do we get mad and allow animosity to gather in our hearts?
Trials and tests allow our faith to grow as we experience what He is willing to do once we step out in faith obeying Him.