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Inspiration

When You Pass the Test
By Joel Osteen - Mar 25, 2022
We all face situations where things aren't going our way, someone's not treating us right, our dream has taken longer than we thought. It's easy to get upset, live frustrated, wondering why it's not changing. But much of what we face in life is a test. You don't really know what's in you until you're put under pressure. It's easy to have a good attitude when people are being good to you and doors are opening. But how about when it's just the opposite?

On the night before Jesus was arrested, tried, and crucified, Peter told Jesus, "I will lay down my life for you." His heart was right, and that statement was easy to make in the atmosphere of faith with the other disciples at the Passover meal. But when he was put under pressure, when the heat was turned up and he was confronted about being Jesus' disciple during His trial, Peter denied he knew Jesus three times. The pressure brings to light weaknesses in our character, areas we need to deal with. If we're willing to change, to make adjustments, to start passing those tests, God will trust us with more of His favor as He did Peter. God doesn't give up on us when we fail.

It's significant that Peter wrote: "Don't be surprised at the fiery trial that is taking place to test you, to test your quality" (1 Peter 4:12). The purpose of the trial is to test your character and show you what's in you. Every time someone cuts you off in traffic, every person who gets on your nerves, every time you're tempted to be jealous, critical, or pay someone back is not a random challenge. That's God testing your quality. That's an opportunity to grow, to come up higher, to show Him that you can handle more influence, more favor, more responsibility. The problem with failing the test is that you're going to have to keep retaking the test until you pass.

Start passing the test. The next time someone is rude or leaves you out, just smile and stay in peace. When someone tries to make you feel small, ignore it and move on. You're not who they say you are; you are who God says you are--His masterpiece, crowned with favor. Be happy despite what they're doing. Jesus says, "No person can take your joy from you" (John 16:22). Make up your mind that you're not going to give it away. It's a test. Don't keep responding the same old way. If you're going to reach your destiny, you have to prove to God that you'll stay on the high road. Do the right thing when it's hard and God will take you to levels you've never imagined.
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