Rising Joy, by Vicki Matheny
Put yourselves to the test to see if you are in the faith; examine yourselves! Or do you not recognize regarding yourselves that Jesus Christ is in you – unless, indeed, you fail the test! 2 Corinthians 13.5
As a student in school, I disliked tests. They brought out feelings of insecurity and doubt. What if I do not do well enough on the test? What would others, my parents, my teachers, think of me? It put enormous pressure on me that was stressful. After the test, I would be overwhelmed either with a feeling of failure or relief depending on how I thought the test had gone.
In school the consequences for failing a test were disappointing. However, in the long run it might not make much of a difference on one’s future. There is a test that has grave consequences. If we do not pass, the results are eternal.
Paul tells the Corinthians to examine themselves to see if they are in the faith. If we fail this test the difference is between eternity in heaven and eternal punishment. What is the answer to the test? Jesus Christ must be living in me.
How do I know if that is so? Where do I find the key for the test? God gives us an open-book test. I can search out the answers in his holy word. Do you know what his word says? Do you read it daily? If not, why not start today?
#risingjoy #2-Corinthians #test
Being a teacher requires a certain resolve. It doesn’t matter how intriguing or boring your lesson topic is for the day, there will be students who just won’t open up to it. Sometimes I say, before giving instructions for an assignment, “Everyone listen closely, because I am only going to explain this once.” By the end of the day, on a good day, I have explained it at least four or five times. This holds true no matter how simple the task–even writing down notes I am speaking verbatim. At times it can be exasperating, leaving you exhausted after a simple activity.
Exodus 16 makes me think of my classroom. It shakes out like this: In verse 2, the people grumble against Moses and Aaron. In verse 4, God says He is going to test them to see whether they will follow His instructions. In verse 14, they see the first manna. In verse 19, Moses tells them not to leave it til morning. In verse 20, they leave it til morning. In verse 25, Moses told them they would not find any manna because it was the sabbath, so don’t go looking for it. In verse 27, the people went looking for it. At this point the Lord seems exasperated, for He exclaims, “How long do you refuse to keep My commandments and My instructions?” Finally in verses 29 and 30 they get it right.
Lord, sometimes it takes us a little while to catch on. Please be patient with us while we learn to walk in Your instructions.
The true test of civilization is not the census, nor the size of cities, nor the crops – no, but the kind of man the country turns out.
— Ralph Waldo Emerson, American essayist, philosopher and poet (1803-1882)
Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.
The final test of a leader is that he leaves behind him in other men the conviction and will to carry on.
Walter Lippmann, American journalist, author and public philosopher (1889-1974)