1 Peter 4:12-14 … Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice insofar as you share Christ’s sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed. If you are insulted for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you.

I was a terrible test taker when I was in grade school.  I had terrible study habits. TV on, snacks on the desk, window open so I could hear what was going on outside.

When I got to college and the stakes were raised, I learned to cut out some of those distractions. “Magically”, I became a better (not great) test taker. I realized that the tests had a much greater importance and would impact the rest of my working life.  Because of that I worked much harder to be successful.

How are we doing with test in this life? 

We have 70, 80, 90 years, depending on God’s will, to take the test of life.  It is a daily test, and when it is complete we have an eternity in front of us.  Life includes many trials and sufferings and God provides the strength we need to endure each.  In fact, He tells us not only to endure, but to be joyful through those tough times.

James 1:2-4 … Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.

How can we rejoice in difficult times? 

Look to Jesus, meditate on His sacrifice and the eternity in paradise He offers as a free gift.  A few short years of struggle in return for an eternity of unimaginable treasures seems like an easy trade off.  This is His promise to anyone who accepts His free gift.  I for one am certain that humanity could not possibly ask for more.

2 Corinthians 12:9 … He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.

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