James 1:2-3, NIV: Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.

Not many of us enjoy tests. We often view tests from one perspective, seeing them as a critical and sometimes cruel means to judge us. Yet the benefits of good testing far outweigh our dislike for them. Consider how tests can be used to reveal to you the progress you have made—demonstrating what you now know or can do that you once could not. Tests also show us where we have areas that need improvement. Perhaps you have heard someone say, “I think God is testing me.” Perhaps He is. But rest assured He is not doing so to see if you will pass or fail. He is not doing so to compare you with others. Through the tests of life, God desires to see you become stronger. He wants you to see the areas that still need work so you can learn from your mistakes, and discover the way to have a more abundant life in Him.