The Adversity of Tests: 4 Types of Tests From God

Our lives are full of tests. They start before we have our first day of school. There are admission tests to determine if we’re ready for school. We have medical tests to make sure we are healthy and even residency tests to make sure we are going to the right school. Then as we learn things we start taking written tests and continue taking tests the rest of our lives. Some tests we look forward to, like driving tests, because they will open up new opportunities for us, but most tests we could do without.

tests - testing do no disturb

I don’t know that anyone likes tests. That is, unless you know the subject so well that you know you’re going to pass. But then would that really be a test? Yes it would, because it would accomplish its purpose, demonstrating your knowledge or competency or ability.

The Bible tells us there are times God tests us. Tests are similar to but not quite the same as trials (we’re going to talk about trials in our post tomorrow) in that tests are directed by God with a specific goal in mind. Let’s look at four types of tests God gives from examples in the Bible.

4 Types of Tests by God

  1. Will we trust God? The Israelites were in the desert and were hungry. God gave them more than enough manna but told them to take just what they needed. He did this to test their trust in Him. Exodus 16:4, Deuteronomy 8:16
  2. Will we worship God? At Mt. Sinai God gave the Israelites a glimpse of His Majesty and greatness. He did this to test them, to see if they would fear and respect Him. Exodus 20:18-20
  3. Will we obey God? After Joshua died, God didn’t drive out all the foreign nations from the land. He did this to test the people of Israel to see if they would walk in the way of God or follow the ungodly nations. Judges 2:21-22
  4. Do we have integrity? Jeremiah tells us God tests us to see what is in our hearts and minds. He gives good and bad according to what He finds in us. Jeremiah 17:9-10

The first three of these tests were from specific historical situations, but they apply to us today.

  • Do we trust God with what He gives us? Have we learned to be content? Philippians 4:11.
  • Have you ever seen the power of God, the awesome power of God? Did that change you? Has it stayed with you or have you forgotten it and are no longer impressed by it? Psalm 145:1-7
  • Do you allow the sinfulness of the world around you to creep into your life? Have you lowered your standards and become friends with the world? James 4:4
  • What is going on in your heart right now as you read this? If at this moment in time God looked into your heart and rewarded you for what He found, would it be good or bad? Psalm 19:12-14

There is no question that God tests us. We just don’t know when. These aren’t the normal kinds of tests we would expect, but they are so important. How would you do on those tests? Please leave a comment or question below.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • Yecenia Hernandez

    Pastor Ward. Thank you for reaffirming what Gods grace looks like and what is expected of us while tested in those areas. The adversary has the power to interfere with tests and most definitely trials.
    What can you suggest to those in higher education studying ministry, to further the cause of the kingdom when attacked with obscured tests that attempt to dismantle a firm foundation?

    • Although the adversary has the power to interfere and pile on those are attacks and not tests. An attack from the enemy will overwhelm us, discourage us, confuse us, sidetrack us, cause us to doubt God and accuse us. If it is an attack that you are referring to, we must resist it. IF it is a test from God, we must go through it, not fight it but endure it faithfully. Does that make sense, Yecenia? I wrote this because too often we blame Satan for what God is trying to do in our lives, make us stronger in our faith. We have to learn to distinguish between attacks and tests or we will miss God’s best.