Last year I failed a test twice—both times I was 100% sure when I pressed the submit button that I would see the word “PASS”. I was shocked the first time, but I was floored the second time around and questioned my ability to retain knowledge. When I studied the third time, I realized how much I had missed in my first two attempts and I hope to pass it next time.
In our spiritual walk, we will experience tests of our faith. Just like school tests, we are expected to retain knowledge so that we can apply it to the correct situation. The tests of our faith are meant to build perseverance so that we can mature in our relationship with God and other people.
Just like earthly tests, they’re not fun especially if we’re not good at test taking. However, if we listen to the Spirit and learn of God’s word, we can pass the faith tests using athletic skills. How can we PASS the faith tests?
P – Position ourselves for success.
“Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it” (1 Corinthians 9:24).
Every sport has a starting position—it’s strategic to start in the right way in order to win the game. In our spiritual walk, we need to position ourselves by staying close to God to even recognize that what we are going through is a test. This is key as we can get bogged down in our circumstances and miss the revelation that our faith is being tested. Our starting position is one of strength to go from victory to victory.
A – Ask God for wisdom, discernment, and strength.
“Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable” (1 Corinthians 9:25).
Rarely, if ever, does a seasoned athlete just show up for a game without practice nor coaching. They practice self-control in their minds and bodies for the expected competition. As spiritual people, we also need to discipline of prayer so that our faith will shine when we need it most. This communication with God under girds our dependency on God for wisdom, discernment, and strength.
S – Strategize aligning our lifestyle, mindset, and gifts with the goal.
“So I do not run aimlessly; I do not box as one beating the air” (1 Corinthians 9:26).
No one randomly stumbles into victory on game day. There’s preparation to overcome self-doubt, fear, and the possibility of defeat. In our Christian faith, we aren’t running this race without a goal. We have to intentionally align our lifestyle, mindset, and spiritual gifts to finish the race. Not only does our Father in heaven have rewards for us, but He also rewards us in this lifetime with the joy of completing our tasks with integrity, righteousness, and peace.
S – Set our minds daily with the end result in mind.
“But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified” (1 Corinthians 9:27).
It’s hard to see an athlete disqualified before the race gets started. It’s not intentional, but it is heartbreaking to witness. As believers in Jesus Christ, our testimony and witness shine the light of truth to those who are around us. When we persevere in the times of testing, people will know that God is real and their hearts become more open to the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Dear Lord, You are my goal. I want to know You and live a righteous life especially during the times that my faith is tested. In Jesus’ name, amen.
In His Service,