Tests can come in diverse forms; test of strength, test of patience and endurance, test of faith, test of character. Whatever we are going through today by way of tests, trials and troubles, God is in the picture and we must believe firmly that there is a solution on the way. It may be delayed, it may seem to drag on endlessly but God is in control. Your victory is on the way. Let us hand over our problems to Him. The size of the problem does not matter.
God tested Abraham after He had given him a son in his old age. He asked Abraham to offer his son as a sacrifice to Him. It was a difficult test for Abraham because he had asked God for a child, and only got one when he was a 100 years old. His wife was 90 years old then and 25 years had elapsed by the time God's promise was fulfilled. It was surprisingly that a few years afterwards, God required of Abraham to sacrifice this son.
As father and son travelled the following morning to the mountaintop, the son asked of his father. "The fire and the wood are here but where is the lamb for the burnt offering?" (Genesis 22:7) Abraham answered: "God Himself will provide the lamb for the burnt offering, my son." (Genesis 22:8)
Abraham faced this trial knowing the One that he served. It was either that the Lord would have provided another son (after Isaac would have been sacrificed) or that He would simply have replaced him. Scripture records thus; "Early the next morning Abraham got up and saddled his donkey." (Genesis 22:3) Abraham did not hesitate one second; he obeyed to the letter and passed the test.
The test Hannah faced was equally difficult. It was by all accounts an uphill battle for her because everyday her mate, Peninnah, would remind her of her inability to produce children for her husband. ". her rival provoked her till she wept and would not eat." (1 Samuel 1:7) It was getting to a stage where what she went through in this polygamous marriage was even more painful than the pangs of childbirth. Peninnah had two sons by Elkanah - the husband they shared. Hannah none. That was the beginning of her troubles, "for the Lord had closed her womb." (1 Samuel 1:6) She wept bitterly not because not so much because she was sterile but more because of the treatment she was receiving from her mate. To console her, the husband had asked: "Hannah, why are you weeping? Why don't you eat? Why are you downhearted? Don't I mean more to you than ten sons?" (verse 8)
Barrenness for a woman is a crippling, daunting and frustrating experience. Your worth as a woman diminishes, your future growth and personal development stunted. Sarah, Abraham's wife, suffered a similar fate until God blessed her with a child. Unfortunately prior to having her own, Hannah had to put up with her tantrums until God answered her prayer. Her barrenness had become an embarrassment. And as long as she lived with her husband, she could not have escaped ridicule and mockery from her co-spouse. After those trying moments living in this kind of demeaning and challenging environment, Hannah
finally passed the test. Following several visits to
A poverty-stricken widow was going through a life-threatening experience. After her husband died, she was left with only debts and her two sons risked being given up as slaves. She was at the brink of the precipice. Her supplies have dwindled so fast, all she had left was a container of 'little oil in her house.' She had been feeling physically challenged when she encountered the man of God, Elisha. She was going through dire straits and could have collapsed any moment then. She poured her heart out thus to the prophet:
"Your servant my husband is dead, and you know that he revered the Lord. But now his creditor is coming to take my two boys as slaves." (2 Kings 4:2) After a few questions, it was established that she had some oil at home. "Go around and ask all your neighbours for empty jars. Don't ask for just a few. Then go inside and shut the door behind you and your sons. Pour oil into all the jars, and as each is filled, put it to one side." (verse 3-4)
They kept pouring the content of that little jar of oil into all those recipients until there was no longer any empty jar left. "Then the oil stopped flowing. She went and told the man of God, and he said, "Go, sell the oil and pay your debts. You and your sons can live on what is left." (verse 7)
That stressful situation ceased when God through His servant Elisha intervened.
". weeping may remain for a night, but rejoicing comes in the morning." (Psalm 30:5)