Summary: Why does God allow us to be tested?
Moment of Decision – Genesis 22
We all have moments of decision…some are small and insignificant and some are life changing, or life forming.
This story about Abraham in Genesis 22 brings up some familiar themes from the life of Jesus and His moments of decision. Let’s compare notes between Abraham and Jesus:
1. God tested Abraham's faith - 22:1 Jesus was tested - Matthew 4:1-11
2. Abraham was to sacrifice his only son - 22:2 God offered His only son - John 3:16
3. Abraham got up early (anticipation) 22:3 Jesus arose early on Sunday - Mark 16:2
4. Abraham prepared for the sacrifice - 22:3 Jesus was prepared as the sacrifice - Hebrews 10:4-10
5. Abraham and Isaac took a 3 day journey - 22:4 Jesus laid in the tomb for 3 days - Luke 24:1-7
6. Abraham & Isaac carried the supplies for sacrifice - 22:3-6 Jesus carried his cross until he couldn't bear it - John 19:17
7. God stopped the sacrifice of Isaac - 22:10-12 Jesus cried out to ask why God didn't do the same for Him - Matthew 27:46
8. God offered Ram (Lamb) - 22:13-14 Jesus was offered as the Lamb for all humanity – 1 Peter 1:18-19
Why does God allow us to be tested? Why did Abraham and Jesus have to make such difficult decisions? Here are three good reasons
When we are tested we are rewarded with testimony
Examine yourselves to see if your faith is genuine. Test yourselves. Surely you know that Jesus Christ is among you; if not, you have failed the test of genuine faith.
God blesses those who patiently endure testing and temptation. Afterward they will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.
And Jesus Christ was revealed as God’s Son by his baptism in water and by shedding his blood on the cross—not by water only, but by water and blood. And the Spirit, who is truth, confirms it with his testimony.
For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow
These trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold—though your faith is far more precious than mere gold. So when your faith remains strong through many trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world.
When we are tested and we obey God we are rewarded with a promise
God blesses you when people mock you and persecute you and lie about you and say all sorts of evil things against you because you are my followers. Be happy about it! Be very glad! For a great reward awaits you in heaven. And remember, the ancient prophets were persecuted in the same way.
Then Jesus said to his disciples, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross, and follow me. If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake, you will save it. And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul? Is anything worth more than your soul? For the Son of Man will come with his angels in the glory of his Father and will judge all people according to their deeds.
But to you who are willing to listen, I say, love your enemies! Do good to those who hate you. Bless those who curse you. Pray for those who hurt you. If someone slaps you on one cheek, offer the other cheek also. If someone demands your coat, offer your shirt also. Give to anyone who asks; and when things are taken away from you, don’t try to get them back. Do to others as you would like them to do to you. If you love only those who love you, why should you get credit for that? Even sinners love those who love them! And if you do good only to those who do good to you, why should you get credit? Even sinners do that much! And if you lend money only to those who can repay you, why should you get credit? Even sinners will lend to other sinners for a full return. Love your enemies! Do good to them. Lend to them without expecting to be repaid. Then your reward from heaven will be very great, and you will truly be acting as children of the Most High, for he is kind to those who are unthankful and wicked. You must be compassionate, just as your Father is compassionate.