Tests Lead to Joyful Progress

Hello friends, 

I recently read a story about how in ancient wars the enemy would, at times, shoot flaming arrows at the surrounding areas to set them on fire.  The arrows were not meant to kill but to DISTRACT.  

Similarly, this is what happens to us as Believers in our walk.  Once distracted, an attack from the enemy (the Devil) is launched.  We don’t see it coming so, Boom! It hits us like a sucker punch! Such a surprise attack can turn us around and fill our minds with anxiety in the blink of an eye. That’s why we must get our bearings and refocus quickly! 

How many of you would agree with me that this has occurred far too many times for us to not understand what is truly happening?  Yet, each time it does, our emotions (soul) shout and scream for our attention so that we can just focus on the stress of the situation.  Meanwhile, our heart and spirit is trying to help us to refocus by telling us to “Shhhhh, be still. Test, test, test! This is only a test. Be very careful how you respond. It will determine your progress.”  

I have failed many of these tests before, but I’ve also passed a few of them and I’m happy to say that even as I write, I am passing one with the help of the Holy Spirit. Praise God! Here’s a Scripture that is helping me:

Therefore He says: “God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble.” Therefore submit to God  Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. 

James 4:6-7

 “Submit to God, resist the devil and he MUST flee”  That is God’s Word, not mine.  He tells us how to respond and how to pass every test before it even comes to us.  He gives us the answers to the tests! 

The distracting arrows are from the Devil who only wants to upset us so we can fail.

In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one

Ephesians 6:16

My heart goes out to those who are suffering with various kinds of tests right now. Tests can last for a short moment or for weeks, but some can go on for a very long time.  We are all currently walking on different paths and although we cannot take a test for someone else, we can encourage one another as we journey through this life together. One of my favorite comforts to run to in God’s beautiful Word is, Matthew 11:28 where Jesus says, “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” The New Living Translation says it this way, “Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.” Let us learn from Jesus who is our encourager, our best friend, and the only true source of peace.

Imagine you are hiking with a friend. You are both carrying backpacks. His bag weighs 2 lbs. and yours weighs 50! So, he turns around and says, “Stop huffing and puffing and give it to me. Let me take that from you and you take mine.” Who wouldn’t want such a wonderful person in their life to say this every now and then? That is exactly what Jesus tells us, all the time!!   

We can never truly understand the wonders of God without getting to know Him through His Word.  So, let it begin there.

“I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my loving eye on you.”

Psalms 32:8

I pray, in Jesus’ name, for the success of every test that may come your way so that you may be able to joyfully progress in your spiritual walk.

8 thoughts on “Tests Lead to Joyful Progress

  1. zoeyalyward

    I love this! I have so many misconceptions about spiritual warfare and the attack of Satan, getting caught up in “how to fix it” when really the answer is just: submit to Jesus! as James 4 says. Thank you for grounding this post in so much scripture. God bless you in your ministry!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Amen! It’s only because of the tests that I have both failed and passed that I am able to look back and say, “Yes, I am joyfully progressing in my spiritual walk!” Thank you, Jackie, for allowing God to speak His truth through your life encounters and your journaling pen!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. jomari65

    This post just spoke to my heart. Yes, Lord I give it all to you! Why do I keep taking it back and burdening myself again and again? Lord you have promised to give me rest! Thank you Jackie, again I am so blessed to be able to join you on this journey. May the Lord continue to bless you and use you!

    Liked by 1 person

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