He asked this to test him, for He Himself knew what He was going to do. – John 6:6
God doesn’t play games. He doesn’t sit in the heavens like some cosmic puppeteer thinking of all the possible ways He can mess with humanity. At the same time, He has a definite purpose in the continued testing of His children. In order to accomplish His purposes, God will often test our faith, not to discover if we are true disciples, but rather to strengthen those disciples that He already knows to be true.
In the story above, Jesus knew what He was going to do … that He was going to feed the 5,000, but He also knew that He needed to teach His disciples a few things about His character and identity. In the same way, He will test you and I. Not to make our lives difficult (though it may seem so), but rather to strengthen us for the work His kingdom requires.
Life in Christ is not a game, but it is a series of tests issued by the Master leading to a greater understanding of His identity, purposes, and grace.
We are always in the forge, or on the anvil; by trials God is shaping us for higher things. – Henry Ward Beecher