“Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal among you, which comes upon you for your testing, as though some strange thing were happening to you; but to the degree that you share the sufferings of Christ, keep on rejoicing, so that also at the revelation of His glory you may rejoice with exultation. “ I Peter 4:12 & 13 (NASB)
A dear friend and former pastor of ours recently finished six rounds of chemo. This chemical warfare taking place in his body is to fight off an all-to-often deadly enemy called cancer. Today he faces a PET scan. This will reveal who is winning the battle. My money is not on the cancer!
Pastor John has chronicled this season of his life in blog-form. From my perspective it appeared to begin as a way of keeping everyone informed of his condition and progress, an outlet for his feelings. Every entry glorified God whether it was a good day or a bad day. After a several entries, his writing seemed to morph into a teaching/preaching mode where he gave us insight to what God was revealing to him and through him.
In this morning’s writing prior to his test, he wrote that he has concluded that life is a series of scans, tests and exams. He expounded on each from his current perspective. Thank you John! You once again blessed my heart.
I agree. Life is a series of scans, tests and exams. Please allow me to expound from my current perspective. But to read John’s click here! Look for article dated 1-11-2011 at 5:44am MST
Scans are a hot topic right now especially if you are traveling by air. Some folks feel that the newer security scans are too evasive. Others don’t care. But if you want to board that plane. . .
For a Christian, our life is subject to constant scanning – generally by others. Our words and actions are scanned for validity. It’s simple, but cliché – does the walk match the talk and vice versa? However our lives are also open to scanning by the Holy Spirit. Now that’s a scan you can’t hide anything from! Unfortunately, I think we are unwilling participants most of the time, not wanting to acknowledge what the scan reveals and then submit for treatment. Shall I go on?
Then we have tests. Will you pass the “help your neighbor” test? What about the “serve your community” test? When was your last “share Jesus with this person now!” test? How will you come out on the “love God” test? Sometimes we have tests of patience. There are tests of endurance. The tests test our faith, our growth and our dependence on God. Tests also prepare you for exams.
Remember final exams? We gathered all the material from all the previous tests to study. We poured over books. We sweated. We fretted. We cried. Then we sighed when we discovered a passing grade and the teachers relaxed as their mission was accomplished. They actually did teach us something!
Life is a series of scans that reveal who we are inside and outside. Life is a series of tests to grow who we are inside and outside. Therefore I submit that exams prove whose we are inside and outside.
Peter told the scattered believers not to be surprised by the tests they encountered. Peter had a few himself. Some he passed with flying colors. Remember in Scripture when Christ asked the disciples who they thought He was? Peter answered confidently, “You are the Son of the Living God!” Jesus affirmed Peter for passing that test.
You always win some, but then again you lose some as well. Ask Peter about the test he took where he failed by denying he knew Christ. Shameful? Yes. Painful? Most definitely. The end of the line for him? Not a chance. Fortunately, in Christ failure is not fatal, nor does it mean you are finished. Yes, Peter failed a few tests. But he passed some as well and learned from his failures to go on to pass his first big exam – Pentecost.
Wherever you are at today, know you are not alone. The same God that allows the test will watch over you until it is complete. Let Him scan your heart, revealing what needs to be reveals. Submit to the tests to growth your faith and accept the exams secure in the knowledge that you belong to God. Your grade – a crown of life – awaits at the end.