God Tests His People

In II Chronicles 32:31, we read that “in the matter of the envoys of the rulers of Babylon, who sent to him to inquire of the wonder that had happened in the land [cf. II Kings 20:20], God left him alone to test him, that He might know all that was in his heart.” This language is reminiscent of Deuteronomy 8:2 – “You shall remember all the way which Yahweh your God has led you in the wilderness these forty years, that He might humble you, testing you, to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep His commandments or not.”

It’s easy to forget that God is actively testing and trying and proving His people; that God has a purpose in the “trials” we go through; that He is intimately involved in refining us, giving us opportunities to show what is in our hearts. Oftentimes, as the Westminster Confession of Faith reminds us, what we find in our hearts is “the hidden strength of corruption, and deceitfulness of [our] hearts, that [we] might be humbled” (WCF V.5). Through these trials, God is removing the dross of sin and faithlessness and causing our faith and love and hope to shine more brilliantly.

Therefore let us remember James’ words: “Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing…Blessed is a man who perseveres under trial; for once he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life, which the Lord has promised to those who love Him” (James 1:2-4, 12).

SDG,
Ezra

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