trials, tests and temptations

When God tested Abraham, faith led him to offer his son Isaac. Abraham, the one who received the promises from God, was willing to offer his only son as a sacrifice. [Hebrews 11:17 GWT]

This verse presents us with interesting questions about trials, tests and temptations.
  • Does God order us to do something, like human sacrifice, just to test us?
  • Is it possible for an act of faith to be more religious than spiritual?
  • Why do human beings do bad things in the name of God.
To begin, I need to state the obvious. Theologians have and do differ greatly on this subject. Yet I think how we answer these questions reveal more about our image of God than we think.

If one thinks that God is a divine chess master they might lean to the idea that God is in the business of testing us by asking us to do things that seem contrary to love and goodness. But if one sees God differently they might envision these 'divine' testings more like religious temptations.

In reality, many bad things are done in the name of God that have very little to do with God. Yet God is greater than these bad things and he is able to bring good out of them for our good.

Help us Lord to discern between your voice in our heart and the religious voices in our head.

... this devotion is part of a series from the book of Hebrews.

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