Many times we expect trials and tribulations to take place in massive waves, grand attacks, and huge obstacles, things that we can anticipate and prepare for. But God has demonstrated, at least in my life, many times over that it’s not the big stuff that he’s concerned about as much as he is concerned about how I handle the little things, the seeming insignificant things. I witnessed someone say to me one day that he had asked God to give him a mind to pray before he makes a hasty decision, and then when the opportunity presented itself out of the blue, he failed to see the God in the situation and do what he asked God to give him the opportunity to do. Thereby, he missed it. I, too, was presented with an opportunity to understand what it is like to experience peace when someone wants to be at war with me, something I struggle with all the time. When the opportunity presented itself, rather than sticking to past solutions, which always failed, I tried something different. I asked God, “What do you want me to do?” And He showed me that arguing with someome who does not want to hear the truth is not going to produce any Godly results. So say the facts, and call it a day, knowing that you did not open up a debate. And doing so gave me the peace that I had wanted to experience, and it felt great.
What am I trying to say? Most of the time, God does not test us with mega trials that we can prepare for days, weeks, months, or years in advance, like a final exam. Rather, God tests us with POP QUIZZES, the ones that we have no idea are going to take place, but are a part of the faith curriculum, and count just as much as (if not more than) the exams themselves. We never know when something is going to come to test the knowledge, wisdom, and faith that we possess. We never know when our greatest nightmare suddenly comes to pass. We never know when we’re gonna get cut off by somebody on the road. We never know when one wrong word is going to spark a heated debate. We never know when that customer is going to be p’d off because an order was wrong. We never know when a loved one is going to pass away. We never know when someone is having a bad day. We never know when miscommunication is going to cause problems. We never know when God will decide to create a mini-situation that will make us lose our minds. But we can delight in the fact that we do know that pop quizzes, in whatever form they show up, will, in fact, show up.
Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you; but rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ’s sufferings, that when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy. 1 Peter 4:12-13
And when they show up, they are to prove that the foundation that we have built our faith upon is a sure foundation.
For we are God’s fellow workers; you are God’s field, you are God’s building. According to the grace of God which was given to me, as a wise master builder I have laid the foundation, and another builds on it. But let each one take heed how he builds on it. For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if anyone builds on this foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, each one’s work will become clear; for the Day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire; and the fire will test each one’s work, of what sort it is. If anyone’s work which he has built on it endures, he will receive a reward. f anyone’s work is burned, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire. 1 Corinthians 3:9-15
Furthermore, if we pass the pop quizzes, God not only rewards us with blessings, but He also rewards us with more quizzes and tests, knowing that we can handle it, because we passed the quizzes of the past.
His lord said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant; you have been faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord…. For to everyone who has, more will be given, and he will have abundance.’ Matthew 25:23, 29
So be as cunning as a fox, and be ever watchful when it comes to the pop quizzes of life. We should study diligently to show ourselves approved, because we never know when God will pop a quiz upon us. The danger of being unprepared is that when we are not ready for the quiz, and we have to rely on what we know to pass it, we run the risk of failing every single time because we are not ready. Ironically, we asked for the quizzes in the first place by receiving salvation. So we should make sure that we are ready at all times to pass whatever test comes our way, for if we know that they will show up at any given time, we must be prepared at all times, in hopes that we can pass every time.