I will use them to test Israel and see whether they will keep the way of the Lord and walk in it as their forefathers did. (Judg. 2:22)

AS I LISTENED to the radio, a “bronk, bronk, bronk” sounded. Then the familiar male voice stated, “This is a test of the Emergency Broadcast System. If this had been an actual emergency . . .” Every so often, radio stations have to test to make sure the emergency system is working properly. Most of us, however, have heard it so many times that we go about our tasks and ignore the rather annoying interruption. One day when there were twelve tornado sightings in my area, the same sound came on the radio. Wow, was I glad they had tested it. It worked great and no doubt saved lives.

God sends us tests every now and then to make sure our faith is working properly. That way, when real temptations come or life throws us a curveball, we can be ready and act promptly and confidently. His tests are a way to get us to pay attention when we have become so used to the status quo.

The Israelites failed to teach their children to listen to God. So He tested them by leaving some of the original inhabitants in the Promised Land. He used those people to drive the Israelites back to Him, to help them to trust Him again for deliverance. He tested them because He loved His people so much, and He didn’t want them to go astray. He does the same for us, through the Holy Spirit.

If you feel God is testing you, ask Him what He wants you to learn from the test.

Julie B. Cosgrove is a widowed Christian author and speaker living in Fort Worth, Texas. She has one son and two cats, and is involved with women’s and outreach ministries.