How to pass every test with God’s open Book.
by Gloria Copeland
There’s a problem—a health concern, financial troubles, a relationship struggle, a work issue. You can’t help but ask, “Lord, is this a test?” The fact is, every person alive will face challenges of some sort in his or her lifetime. Jesus said, “In the world you will have tribulation.” But He didn’t stop there. He added, “be of good cheer, I have overcome the world” (John 16:33, NKJV).
Jesus said He has overcome the world, and guess what? You can say that, too. Jesus has given you the same world-overcoming faith He has! Every born-again Christian is born of God, and our victory over every trial and tribulation is in our faith in God and His Word (1 John 5:4).
So, what do you do when you face one of the many challenges life holds for all of us? How do you make it through times of trial? How do you tap into that world-overcoming victory, and pass the tests?
God has every answer for every test we face, in His Word. All we have to do is go to the Holy Bible, open it up, find the answer and take a few simple steps to solve every problem.
Step No. 1 to Passing a Test: Choose Life
Since the beginning, God has intended our lives to be lived simply. Every decision we have to make boils down to a basic yes or no answer. The main question is whether we choose life or death, blessing or cursing. Deuteronomy 30:19 says: “Today I have given you the choice between life and death, between blessings and curses. Now I call on heaven and earth to witness the choice you make. Oh, that you would choose life, so that you and your descendants might live!”
Think about it. From every morsel of food we put into our mouths, to how we obtain the things we need, to how we treat the people in our lives—basically it’s up to us whether our choices result in life and blessing, or death and cursing.
When we made the most important decision in our lives to say yes to Jesus, we truly opened up the door to everything good God has in store for us. We said, “Yes, I believe Jesus is the Son of God. Yes, I call on His Name. Yes, I receive Him as my Lord and Savior.”
At that moment, the Spirit of God moved into your life, and you were empowered to begin to make the right choices. You were miraculously given the ability to hear directly from God in your heart and to understand the Bible clearly and what it has to say about you and the issues in your life. The Spirit of God moved inside your spirit to teach you God’s wisdom concerning everything you need to know for a victorious life.
The choice is still up to you whether you take advantage of the answers and solutions the Holy Spirit desires to reveal in the Bible and in your spirit, or you can just sit there complaining and letting life get you down.
Step No. 2 to Passing a Test: Examine Yourself
To examine yourself, let’s start with a couple of simple questions.
What do you do when you wake up one morning with a runny nose? Do you think: Well, here it is…my annual head cold! I had better get ready to be laid up in my pajamas for a few days. I hate these colds!
How about a little harder question? What do you do when you get a diagnosis of a serious disease from your doctor? Is your first thought: Oh, I hoped this day would never come. My mother had this. My grandma had it. Now I’ve got it. Oh, me, I know what I’ve got to look forward to now.
Think about these examples in terms of financial or relationship tests. Do you immediately give in? Is your first response one of worry? If so, you have already declared, whether the situation is simple or hard, “The test wins…I lose!” But you don’t have to respond this way. Whether you pass any test depends totally on what you declare about it. What comes out of your mouth, both when the test first arises and throughout the duration of it, will determine the outcome!
The words we speak reflect what we have in our hearts and in our minds—what we really think about things. And we develop our thoughts from what we continually hear and see. If we get our information from past experiences, family history or the evening news, and let those sources determine how we think about our lives, we will find ourselves in trouble. We will judge our trials and tests based on that information and it will determine the outcome.
But if we get our information from God’s Word, and from people who have experienced success through His Word, we will find ourselves overcoming the challenges we face.
Our most important decision is to receive Jesus as our Lord and Savior. After that, we must decide where we get the truth about living our life—life as He intends us to live it. The world and our enemy, Satan, have a plan and constantly feed us information to take us down. Our heavenly Father, Jesus our Lord and the Holy Spirit have a plan to take us over the top. What we have to do is decide to turn to God’s Word to discover the truth and live from that source of information.
Step No. 3 to Passing a Test: Turn to the Word
Life in abundance—that’s a life that lives by the scriptures in the Bible! Your life may have a test every single day, but if you know God’s Word on the subject, the answers are all right there in front of you!
God’s Word speaks to every major issue in life. We deal with the same issues Adam and Eve dealt with…health and long life, provision and relationships. All mankind’s tests started right there with them. So, whether on a personal or worldwide level, these are the major issues of life on which we are tested.
And, the choice to pass or fail is still the same. Who are you going to listen to? Who are you going to obey?
God has never taken away our ability to choose how we handle tests. Even with all the power of the Holy Spirit we have received to tap into His wisdom, knowledge and understanding, the questions come down to this one: “Will I spend the time today to hear from God, to get my information from the Word, and to receive His truth that will give me abundant life?”
When you say yes to that question, you’ll have your answers right before your eyes and ears, which means they will be in your heart and mind. They will be the first thing out of your mouth when the test comes. No matter how simple or hard the test, you will have your answers!
This is not rocket science. But I will tell you this, approaching your life from this simple perspective with the open Book as your source will determine how far and how fast you go in life. It’s God’s plan for you to succeed and be living proof that anyone can live the abundant life Jesus came to give us!
Step No. 4 to Passing a Test: Listen to the Lord
Yes, God has a great plan for each of us. He’s laid it out in His Word. Our most important role in the plan is to pay attention to what He says.
He intends for each day of our lives to be fruitful and blessed, with each day leading us right along the path of His plan. Remember what He said through the prophet Jeremiah to the children of Israel: “‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ says the Lord. ‘They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope’” (Jeremiah 29:11). That is His dream for all His children.
“Plans for good and not for disaster,” He said. God’s big picture is that nothing in your life is a disaster and that nothing cuts off His plan for your good, hope-filled future! Tests will come, yes. But He has given you exactly what you need to pass every one and stay on the road to your bright future.
So, pay attention to Him so the Holy Spirit who lives in you and guides you will have something to work with.
This is how God has directed me for more than 50 years of facing and passing the tests in my life. I give God the first part of my day. I read His Word, I pray in the spirit, I listen to Him…I pay attention.
Sometimes He directs me to just go about my daily business and be ready for whatever He brings my way. Sometimes He directs me to step out and go someplace special or call someone about something. My point is, every day I give Him my attention and every day He gives me direction.
We may have something in our lives that needs adjusting or some outright change that needs to take place. Maybe an attitude needs to be changed. Maybe some activity needs to be reconsidered. Maybe some perspective needs to be tweaked. When you approach the open Book every day, do it with an attitude that says, “God, I’m open to adjustment. Show me where I need to be tuned up and brought into alignment with the Word.”
I’ve had some major tests in my life. But, praise God, because of my daily pattern of paying attention and spending time with Him in the Word, I’ve been prepared and I’ve passed the tests. Some of the tests have come and gone in a day. Some have just called for a small adjustment, and some have required a major overhaul. Some have taken weeks, months or years to be resolved. But the solutions always come.
Today you can start using a new method of passing tests. You can face your trials and challenges with new confidence and assurance of successful results. James 1:25 (NKJV) says, “He who looks into the perfect law of liberty (the Word) and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does.” So, open the Book, stay in the Word, hear it, do it and be blessed!
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