Growing up I had a real disdain for school on every level. I don’t dream much when I sleep, but if you were to ask Judy what dream really unnerves me, it is when I dream about being in school again. They are so real to me, that often I wait up exhausted. There have been times when I have woken up totally soaked from sweating. Often these dream are so real to me, that I am unable to go back to sleep.

Just last week, I was dreaming that I was in college with a guy that I went to grammar school with. I know, crazy isn’t it!! We were at basketball practice, and when it came time to run through our plays, I didn’t know where to go or what to do. Then when I did get the ball to shoot, I could not even get it to the basket, it was like I was shooting a shotput!!

And it gets worse. I don’t know how I got there, but suddenly I found myself not in the gym, but walking the hallways at school. I didn’t know where my classroom was, I couldn’t find my locker, so I had no idea where my books were. And if that wasn’t bad enough, I found out that we were going to have a test within minutes. Yet I had no idea what I was going to be tested on, nor did I know where I was supposed to take the test. I understand that a dream only last’s a few moments, but when I have these dreams about being in school and I wake up, it seems like it had lasted for days!!

I am not sure what it is about school that haunts me to this day, but I do know that I did not like tests. My thoughts were “Tests!? Who needs them?!” Yet, whether it is in the classroom or in life, there always seems to be a test right around the corner for us to take.

One of my favorite Old Testaments characters was Job; this man was really tested!! Job would write… But he knows the way that I take; when he has tested me, I will come forth as gold. Job 23:10.

One of my favorite New Testament characters is Peter and he too was tested… Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to test all of you as a farmer sifts wheat. I have prayed that you will not lose your faith! Help your brothers be stronger when you come back to me. Luke 22:31-32 NCV

Yet when being tested, it is nice to know that Satan doesn’t have the final say. Satan doesn’t set the parameters of the test, God does…. The LORD said to Satan, “Very well, then, he is in your hands; but you must spare his life.” Job 2:6

Satan is very powerful but he doesn’t set the rules, God does… Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me”. Matthew 28:18

God allowed Job to be tested so that he would become more valuable: “I will come forth as gold.” Through the testing, Job experienced God like he never had before… My ears had heard of you but now my eyes have seen you. Job 42:5 Job’s relationship with God improved and because of that, Job became of more value to everyone around him.

God allowed Peter to be tested to prepare him for greater ministry… Then Peter stood up with the Eleven, raised his voice and addressed the crowd: “Fellow Jews and all of you who live in Jerusalem, let me explain this to you; listen carefully to what I say. With many other words he warned them; and he pleaded with them, “Save yourselves from this corrupt generation.” Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand were added to their number that day. Acts 2:14, 40-41

What about you? Are you going through a test right now? Are you thinking: “Why me, God?” Believe it or not, this test is for the same reasons God allowed tests into the lives of Job and Peter. It is to help you experience God in ways you have never experienced Him before and to make you more valuable in your service for Him… Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. James 1:2-4

Testing is part of God’s process to help us mature, to be complete, not lacking anything. It is part of God’s process to mold us into the imagine of His Son. So write this in your devotional diary, or write it on a piece of paper and stick it on your refrigerator. Write this and put it somewhere where you will see it, and make sure you write it in capital letters… I WILL BE TESTED. Write it down, so when it happens, you will be ready for it and won’t fight it or run from it.

“I WILL BE TESTED.”

One more thing: don’t believe Satan’s lie that no one has ever had it as difficult as you, that God is requiring more of you than He has from anyone else in all of world history. All you need to remember is that God has a plan, and it is His plan to make you better, and expand your ministry. He has been doing it since the beginning of time, so He is very experienced and knows what He is doing, and like Job & Peter, God will not give you more than you can bear… No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it. 1 Corinthians 10:13

I have no idea why dreaming about school puts me in such a tailspin. But I do know this; tests in school forced me to learn, and tests in life, if we respond correctly, will make us come forth as gold. Tests!? Who needs them?! We do!!