When God Tests You, He’s Stretching You
By Rick Warren
“The people are to go out each day and gather enough for that day. In this way I will test them and see whether they follow my instructions” (Exodus 16:4 NIV).
You can find a lot of commands in the New Testament, and some of them are really inconvenient and uncomfortable—things like “Don’t worry about anything” or “In everything give thanks” or “Always return good for evil.”Some of them even seem impossible!
Yet every demand God makes of us is a test of faith. When God asks you to do something that stretches you, you have to decide: Are you going to trust a gut feeling that says it’s just too much for you to handle, or are you going to trust what God says is the right thing to do?
The fact is, God often asks us to do the impossible so we’re forced to depend on him.
God gave the Israelites a test in Exodus 16:4 when it came to how they were going to eat in the wilderness: “The people are to go out each day and gather enough for that day. In this way I will test them and see whether they follow my instructions” (NIV). He gave them seemingly crazy demands to test their faith and obedience.
God asked Abraham to leave the security of a known situation and travel to an unknown country where he had never been, to start a new nation. And Abraham obeyed and went.
God asked Noah to build an ark on dry land far from the ocean. Noah did what seemed crazy to everyone else and obeyed God.
When more than 5,000 people were hungry, Jesus told Andrew to feed them. God often asks his people to do the impossible to put us in a position where we have to trust him for a miracle. He wants to do that in your life, too.
Your faith increases not only when you rejoice continually through difficult circumstances but also when you obey immediately. That always builds your faith. When God says to do it, don’t sit around. Don’t wonder why it doesn’t make sense. Don’t worry about whether you’re able to do it in your own strength.
Just do it. Obey God right away, and trust that he will give you everything you need to fulfill his purpose. And he will grow you in faith.
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