What about when we flunk a test [from God]?

Heb 12:5b-6 (quoting Prov 3:11-12) “My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord, nor be weary when reproved by him. For the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and chastises every son whom he receives.” This is a loaded question. To be fair, I don’t think we “flunk” tests. If God knows all, then He knows the outcome of the test before it happens. He still allows it because it fits in with His divine purpose. Whether or not we choose what is right in a situation, we grow from the experience.

Pr 12:1 Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is stupid. We already know why God tests us. It isn’t a matter of pass or fail. It always comes back to the condition of our heart. In Luke 10:27 Jesus speaks very clearly of the condition our heart needs to be in when he says, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.”

This post is an excerpt (Question 3.3) from my book Ask James one.

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About Lance Ponder

Christian author of "Ask James one"; public speaker; husband and father. Available to speak on Creation and the Gospel.
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2 Responses to What about when we flunk a test [from God]?

  1. Todd Beal says:

    Lance, I have often lamented over this question. I am a very perfection-oriented person, and if not carefully monitored, my perfectionism easily turns into self-defeating depression. My nature is to do everything right the first time, no second times allowed, but as the years go by I increasingly learn that Jesus is my Savior, not my corporal punisher. But this does not eliminate my need to perfectly please him in every way.

    The greatest thing that I have learned about the Christian life is what you stated in this post; “It isn’t a matter of pass or fail. It always comes back to the condition of our heart.” As much as failing sucks, I know that Jesus still welcomes me because my heart still desires his Holy perfection.

  2. Lance Ponder says:

    Todd, what we think of as failure is really an opportunity for us to experience grace. Not that we are to sin to increase grace – God Forbid. But the Lord’s ways are greater than ours and we must be humbled sometimes to realize how exalted he truly is.

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