May 6, 2019
Father, I pray that as I am tested, I will be more than vindicated, I will be victorious!
Vindicate me, O LORD, for I have walked in my integrity, And I have trusted in the LORD without wavering. Examine me, O LORD, and try me; Test my mind and my heart. Psalm 26: 1-2 NAS
Tests can be very unnerving, especially if you are not prepared. Nothing strikes fear in the hearts of students more that the two little word, “Pop Quiz!” A test is supposed to bring out what is on the inside; it is a proving ground for knowledge and advancement. It can be a measure for reward to disgrace.
How interesting that the psalmist opens himself up and requests for God to test his heart and mind. Our tests can examine the knowledge retained in the mind, but how could we ever examine the heart, what would we find in the hearts of our students? What does God find in our hearts? The psalmist must have felt pretty sure that he would pass this test. If you read the first two words of the psalm, we get an idea of why he would be so bold. He obviously feels that he is surrounded by sinners and he wants to separate himself out of the wicked and insure that he does not suffer the consequences of wickedness.
Unfortunately, sometimes the saints suffer with the sinners. We live in an imperfect world, where free choice can and often does result in earthy consequences, even death of the innocent, and it is so difficult to try to understand and work through the emotions of it all. September 11th 2001, was one of those days, the gunman walking into a movie theater and killing twelve people and injuring 60 others was one of those days, Columbine and other school shootings leave us reeling with more questions than answers. We have to understand that this side of heaven we will never understand evil.
When you have the mind of Christ and live by the filling of the Holy Spirit, evil will never make sense. It is a waste of time to try to, “figure it out,” or “wrap your mind around it.” Events like these cannot break our faith, we need to run to God and ask Him to be our comfort and strength. Jesus said in John 16:33, “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
It is in Jesus’ words that we find the answers to the test. Remember these words; write them on your hearts and minds, Jesus has overcome the world. This is the answer to every test we encounter; it assures us an A+. There will be times of extreme, but short-term pain because Jesus has secured a joyful, painless eternity. The end of Psalm 26 the psalmist commits to continue to live blamelessly and praise the Lord. This is our prescription to peace in a world full of trouble.
Copyright Kathy Branzell. Email firstname.lastname@example.org