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Monday, July 12, 2010


Knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience.
James 1:3

Recommended Reading
Romans 5:1-5

In our culture, the concept of "testing" immediately brings school days to mind. From the first grade on, we grow used to the sweaty palms and increased heart rate that accompanies these words: "Clear your desk and take out a pencil...." If we were well prepared, the test was an affirmation. If we were poorly prepared, the test was a rebuke--gentle or severe, depending on the grade.

Tests don't end on graduation day, however. God has tests for us as well, like this one: "Describe nine ways to know if you are filled with the Holy Spirit." The answer is whether we manifest the nine dimensions of the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23). Take patience, for instance. God allows us to experience times that test our patience in order to show us whether we are relying on ourselves or on the Holy Spirit. The more we are tested, the more evidence we have of the kind of power we are relying on--self or the Spirit. And the more opportunities we have to say "Fill me with Your presence, Holy Spirit, that I may manifest patience in this situation."

If you are tested today, don't fail by relying on self. Let tests become affirmations of your reliance on the Holy Spirit in you.

Hope is the foundation of patience.
John Calvin

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