May 19, 2023

Understanding Testing Seasons

It’s through testing seasons in life that we’re given the opportunity to be forged and shaped into who God created us to be and prepared for all that He has for us. In this episode, Whit and Casey talk about the nature of tests, give some practical steps for setting boundaries, and wrestle with the complexity of life and faith.

Check it Out:

What’s the point of a test?

When you approach a test of any kind, you’re not usually excited about it. However, we need testing seasons for so many reasons.

In the midst of a testing season, you discover things about yourself that would never be unearthed in times of comfort.

This idea of suffering and learning is seen all throughout Scripture. Even Jesus, the son of God, experienced seasons of trial & testing and learned because of it:

Although he was a son, he learned obedience through what he suffered. And being made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation to all who obey him, being designated by God a high priest after the order of Melchizedek (Hebrews 5:8-10).

If Jesus had something to learn through testing, how much more is there for you?

Seasons of difficulty allow for a type of forging to occur. As you pass through the fire, you’re formed and strengthened in a way that can only happen in times of trial.

You can remain in the same cycle of brokenness and dysfunction for your whole life if a pattern isn’t changed.

Tests allow things to be revealed and refined to the glory of God.

Change could look like setting a boundary.

Boundaries are a sort of test. A boundary is saying here’s a line I don’t want you to cross. But there are countless reasons setting boundaries is hard.

Maybe you’re more concerned with keeping the peace rather being a being a peace maker (a much longer and harder process.)

Maybe you don’t like the tension of conflict or the inconvenience of setting boundaries.

In the short term, the boundary is often harder than living with the dysfunction. Change is costly. But it’s so worth it.

Is there somewhere in your life you need to set a boundary? Is there someone in your life you need to set a boundary with?

Maybe you feel like you’re experiencing the same test over and over again.

You don’t just teach your kids something once. Through patient repetition, a lesson can be learned and behavior changed. Life is much the same.

Is there something you’ve yet to learn?

When similar problems keep arising in your life, it’s time to take a closer look. Wise counsel, like a trusted friend or counselor, can be really helpful in recognizing what patterns and behaviors need to be changed.

Embrace Your Season

Trying to figure out if you’re in a test or not isn’t super helpful.

In the moment, you often won’t recognize your circumstances as a test.
It’s only after, with the benefit of hindsight, that you can look back at a period of your life and realize you were being changed and formed through a testing season.

Rather than wondering, is this a test?, focus your attention on making the next right decision in front of you. And determine to walk out whatever season you’re in with faithful obedience.

Passing the Test

Anyone that’s going to be led by God will go through periods of testing. It’s in these seasons you’re becoming the kind of person God will be able to use.

The right approach to a test is being willing to do whatever the Lord is asking you to do, no matter the cost.

It’s okay to voice your fear, confusion, and frustration in the midst of suffering. Like Jesus, maybe you’re asking God, Lord, is there another way? 

But Jesus also said, if not, I’ll go where you lead:  “Not my will but your will be done” (Matthew 26:39).

When you take that approach, you’ll always pass the test.

Check out our episode on boundaries:

Boundaries don’t have to suck


Looking for a Church Home?

Our Churches >