Because he himself was tested by what he suffered, he is able to help those who are being tested. — Hebrews 2:18, NRSV
Believe it or not, you’re being tested. So am I. All of us are.
Life is an assortment of tests.
When we encounter people with whom we disagree, we are being tested.
When we are faced with the choice of being generous or closing our hands, we are being tested.
When the world is full of hunger and poverty, and when people are suffering at and within our own borders, we are being tested.
Testing from God is often viewed negatively, as though God is waiting for us to slip up. However, according to Hebrews 2, God’s will is to help us in the midst of testing. It’s not that God sends us means by which we may fall, but those occasions come naturally and God, in Jesus, gives us a blueprint by which we may emerge victorious.
God desires for each of us to be successful in the imitation of Christ’s love, especially in those moments where it may be all too tempting to choose a more selfish path. The love of Jesus led Him to the cross rather than saving Himself at the expense of His message that honoring God and all His children is a cause worth dying for. Salvation in Christ is unity with His will, empowering us to follow in His footsteps when temptation strikes.
The faithful are charged with the responsibility of acting differently in the face of adversity. Like Christ, we are to forgive when affronted, and we are to actively care for those whom the world has forgotten or cast aside. We are to love those we’d prefer to hate, and we are to make our voices heard in the face of injustice.
So take heart. Yes, we are surrounded by tests, but God would prefer us to see these temptations as opportunities to witness to the Divine’s insurmountable love. When faced with a choice in which we are tempted to serve ourselves, let us look to Christ and remember that how we treat others is indicative of how we relate to God. I pray we all may fight the good fight by feeding the hungry, advocating for those in prison or immigration detention centers, forgiving our enemies, and trading love for injury.
We have help in God. We are never alone. Let us look to His grace and share it with one another.
This world cannot bear for us to do any less.
Peace be with you!