Sabbath, 2/4/06, 2:58 PM EST USA
All praise and glory to the One True Living LORD God Almighty!
I have been wondering what it means for God to test His believers. After such a long time (2 years?) I checked the dictionary recently at Dictionary.com and this is what I found.
\Test\, n. [OE. test test, or cupel, potsherd, F. t[^e]t, from L. testum an earthen vessel; akin to testa a piece of burned clay, an earthen pot, a potsherd, perhaps for tersta, and akin to torrere to patch, terra earth (cf. Thirst, and Terrace), but cf. Zend tasta cup. Cf. Test a shell, Testaceous, Tester a covering, a coin, Testy, T[^e]te-[`a]-t[^e]te.] 1. (Metal.) A cupel or cupelling hearth in which precious metals are melted for trial and refinement.
Our ingots, tests, and many mo. --Chaucer.
\Test\, v. t. [imp. & p. p. Tested; p. pr. & vb. n. Testing.] 1. (Metal.) To refine, as gold or silver, in a test, or cupel; to subject to cupellation.
Clearly it does not mean to see if His believers are up to the temptation at hand - we can't be. Since God is our strength, then we do nothing without Him allowing us to do it. "With God all things are possible; with man nothing is possible." Indeed, so we need God's Sovereign permission for the will and strength to do anything.
So the meaning of our tests is clear to me now - our tests are meant as refinement for us. "God afflicts those He loves." Amen!