Tuesday, December 04, 2018

God is trying

I often hear the word “trying” used as a verb attached to the noun “God.” It comes out in a phrase “God is trying…” Such as, “God is trying to tell you something.” Or, “God is trying to get your attention.” When used in the way it has the idea “to attempt.” It occurs to me that God doesn’t “attempt” to do anything. Either he does or he doesn’t (e.g. cf. Jeremiah 32:17, Matthew 28:18). I searched the Bible to see if I could find the idea of “God trying.” I did not. I found another meaning of the verb “try” – to put to the test – used in conjunction with the noun “God.” As in, “God tries a person” or “God tries the heart.”

1 Chronicles 29:17 I know also, my God, that thou triest the heart, and hast pleasure in uprightness. As for me, in the uprightness of mine heart I have willingly offered all these things: and now have I seen with joy thy people, which are present here, to offer willingly unto thee.

Psalm 139:23 Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts:

Zechariah 13:9 And I will bring the third part through the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined, and will try them as gold is tried: they shall call on my name, and I will hear them: I will say, It is my people: and they shall say, The Lord is my God.

Even in this case of God “trying,” it is the person and not God who is the primary benefactor. 

James 1:2-3 My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.

1 Peter 1:6-7 Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations: that the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:

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