There Can Be Peace In Spiritual Tests

And when we came to the lodging place we opened our sacks, and there was each man’s money in the mouth of his sack, our money in full weight. So we have brought it again with us, and we have brought other money down with us to buy food. We do not know who put our money in our sacks.” He replied, “Peace to you, do not be afraid. Your God and the God of your father has put treasure in your sacks for you. I received your money.” Then he brought Simeon out to them. Genesis 43:21-13

Who would have thought too much money in their sacks would be a problem? That’s a good problem to have unless the ruler of Egypt has your future in his hands and perceives that the money is stolen. Then you have some explaining to do. How limited their spiritual perspective is! They do not know that the ruler they fear is Joseph. They do not know that God is writing the plotline of this severe testing of their character.

God does all things well. A spiritual test is never enjoyable. It takes me to the edge where, for a moment, everything hangs in the balance. What I decide to do seems so critical and so fragile. Never is the war of the flesh stronger than when I am reacting to a customized test from God. He knows just how to take me to the end of myself to confront what is in my heart. When I’m face to face with my deepest self, the person I’ve not been willing to see before now, I’m positive that my ultimate humiliation draws near.  But then, upon humble acknowledgment and prayers for mercy, I hear the same words the brothers heard from Joseph. “Peace to you. Do not be afraid.”

King David said, “Search me and know me. Try me and see if there be any wicked way in me.” Ps.139:23 This prayer, made by a desperate king, is also for me today.  It is not a prayer for the fainthearted. I’m surprised by the results every single time as I discover that I am spiritually dull and don’t know myself well at all. “God desires truth in the inward parts.” Ps.51:6 and arriving at it is arduous.

Oh, but my God, the One who accepts humble sinners, is bent down with arms open to me. The painful discoveries I make are only new to me. God knew them all along, and His covenant love never wavered.

You revealed an ugly truth just yesterday, and today there is peace. I wouldn’t want to belong to anyone else. Amen

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