The tests we face in life reveal both our weaknesses and our strengths. The Bible mentions that God will refine us in the fire. ‘I will put into the fire; I will refine them like silver and test them like gold’ (Zechariah 13:9 NIV). When the Bible speaks of ‘a refiner’s fire’ we often just think of the negative things God wants to remove from our character. But we also have inner strengths and gifts that need to be refined. In 1 Kings 17, a widow and her son met Elijah. At that time there was a famine in the land, and he asked her to share their last meal with him. This probably seemed like quite a test to the widow. She only had one meal left for her and her son, and here was Elijah asking if he could have some of it too. But it turned out to be a great day for her. Her response changed her future, and saved her family. When we’re faced with a need, how do we respond? Do we withdraw? Withhold? Give from a sense of obligation? Or do we see it as an opportunity to obey God and change our future? The thing is, what may feel like a test, could actually be a gateway to blessing. It could be growing our gifts. This test grew the widow’s generosity and hospitality. It could be a way to show us gifts we never even knew we had. God may also be allowing a time of testing in order to reveal how much He cares for us, how we’ll act when we’re in a tough situation, and if we’ll believe His voice over the voice of the enemy.
If you’re going through a time of testing right now, write down any gifts and skills you feel you’re discovering in yourself and any that are being grown by the situation.