Psalm 17:9 says, “Oh, let the wickedness of the wicked come to an end, but establish the just; for the righteous God tests the hearts and minds.” Psalm 53:2 says, “God looks down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there are any who understand, who seek God.” What does the Lord see when He looks into your heart?
In the lives of the children of Israel, God tested their heart through His manna provision. Deuteronomy 8:2 says, “And you shall remember that the Lord your God led you all the way these forty years in the wilderness, to humble you and test you, to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep His commandments of not.”
The Lord knew what was in their hearts. The test was to see if they would do what He told them. If you remember back, when He first gave them the manna, some didn’t believe His specific words. Here is something interesting that I noted last night. Deuteronomy 8:16 says, “Who fed you in the wilderness with manna, which your fathers did not know, that He might humble you and that He might test you, to do you good in the end.”
Did you catch that? The result of the testing was so He could bless them. It made me think of Job. James 5:11 says, “Indeed we count them blessed who endure. You have heard of the perseverance of Job and seen the end intended by the Lord–that the Lord is very compassionate and merciful.”
When we go to the end of Job’s trial, what does it say? Job 42:10 says, “And the Lord restored Job’s losses when he prayed for his friends. Indeed the Lord gave Job twice as much as he had before.” What an intended end! We need to follow Job’s example in our trials. I love verse 2 and visit it often. It says, “I know that You can do everything, and that no purpose of Yours can be withheld from You.”
David went through severe situations in his life. Here is his prayer to make our own. Psalm 26:2 says, “Examine me, O Lord, and prove me; try my mind and my heart.” Try means to refine. The Strong’s definition for refine: to melt, test, or purify metal, to prove, smelt, examine, to try by fire. When gold, silver, and precious stones go through refining fires, only their alloy will surface.
Our faith is tested through our fiery trials. 1 Peter 1:7 says, “That the genuineness of your faith…though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ.” It is IN our trials that the Lord reveals Himself to us in new ways. Think of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego. It was not until they were in the fire, that the Lord appeared to them. Note that in the fire they were not harmed. Daniel 3:27 says, “…they saw these men on whose bodies the fire had no power…”
So it is when the Lord tests our hearts through our trials. It is not punishment. It is to purify our faith from any alloy-lies of the enemy that came in through fiery darts to weaken our faith. Job’s statement will be ours as well when we endure our trials so that He is glorified. Job 23:10 says, “But He knows the way that I take; when He has tested me, I shall come forth as gold.” He is reflected through our purified faith.