by Terry Wane Benton
"I, the Lord, search the heart, I test the mind, even to give every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his doings" (Jeremiah 17:10).
The sum of all our good and bad experiences in this testing ground called life is, in fact, a test of mindset or character. What will be the nature and quality of your inward self? Developing qualities like thankfulness, contentment, dedication, durability, purity of principle, and values are all worked into us by means of tests, hurdles, obstacles, challenges, and forces to work against because exercise calls for working against resistance. Resistance tests the muscles of the mind and will. If everything were easy, flowing along with no difficulty or resistance, we would be weaker, not stronger. Character is not built.
When the will is tested and the choice holds firm, the testing is what makes the character shine brighter. Learning to “give thanks in everything” (pleasant and unpleasant) shows a gold quality of spirit and heart. I learned from my stroke paralyzed grandmother that being thankful for even the small things like shelling peas and butterbeans with one useful hand and laughing at small moments of humor was far better than moping around feeling sorry for yourself. It was her test and she chose to use it for the glory of God in her character. She could not form words anymore, but her attitude spoke volumes. Stepping up or whimpering before a challenge is a choice, plain and simple.
Let the trying of your faith work for faith-building or let it be our excuse to quit! Either way, good or bad, we pass the test or fail it according to what we choose to put into the test. Am I a soldier of the cross who has no cross I am willing to bear? This is a basic training ground! How are we doing in this boot-camp world?