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 ““Now it came to pass after these things that God tested Abraham. . . .” By choosing Christ as our supreme authority, we have accepted His challenge: “You believe in God, believe also in Me” (Jn 14:1). Scripture now places before us an incident from the life of Abraham which shows that our faith will be put to the test, for God wishes our trust in Him to endure despite life’s wrenching contradictions. We learn that these tests often involve our dearest attachments; they force us to act, exposing the roots of our faith. At the same time, such tests also reveal that true faith comes only as a gift from God. Truthfully, our faith will be tested in the context of what we treasure most. A host of choices between treasures on earth and treasures in heaven confront us (Mt 6:19-20). Through these choices God leads us to deeply examine our true relationship with Him, while showing us how much we need His grace to endure.” (Dynamis 4/16/2021)

“The Greek word translated tested is also rendered “tempted.”  That does not mean that the Lord enticed Abraham to sin. Rather, the word means to “search into.” It refers to the test of a person’s character, his inner disposition, the distinctive qualities that he is “made of”…Because Abraham did not hesitate to obey the Lord’s terrible command, he became the model of faith for all time. His “temptation” revealed that at the core of his being was his firm conviction of the faithfulness of God and the undaunted trust in the promise of the Almighty.” (Fr. Basil)

‘Our cause is never more in danger, than when a human, no longer desiring, but intending, to do our Enemy's will, looks round upon a universe from which every trace of Him seems to have vanished, and asks why he has been forsaken, and still obeys’…This quote from a senior devil instructing a junior devil in the art of temptation from Lewis’s work of fiction, The Screwtape Letters, is very instructive. Sometimes we are tested to our limits and get to the point where we feel joyless, cut off from God, and completely emotionally drained. This is when we should simply keep praying, go to church, fast, read the scriptures, and do all the things we are supposed to be doing. This is what faithfulness is all about; remaining obedient and faithful despite how we feel and our circumstances. Why? Is there really any reason not to? What value is there in cynicism, jadedness, and bitterness? It makes no sense. Christ promised us a joy and a peace that require patient endurance. ‘By patience possess your souls” (Luke 21:19). (C.S. Lewis, Sacramental Living Ministries)

“To distinguish between trials and temptations takes wisdom…Wisdom understands the nature of trials. Trials are adversities that put one to the test…Wisdom, therefore, discerns the difference between trial and temptations….when we endure trials patiently, they are constructive.” (Fr. Basil)

“Just as God allowed Job, John the Baptist, and many other faithful believers to be tested and troubled beyond their human strength, He may test us…The mature response to tough times is to affirm, by faith, that God has a purpose in everything He does or allows, even though that purpose might not be clear.” (Leslie Haskin, Jim Cymbala)


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