Scripture: Psalm 26
Key verse: (2) “Prove me, O LORD, and try me; test my heart and mind. For your steadfast love is before my eyes, and I walk in faithfulness to you.”
Reflection: I have met very few people who like a test. And yet, testing is the way we find out how much we have learned, how much we are capable of, and how we have grown. Athletes routinely put themselves to the test by challenging their strength through various tests and contests. This is how they build strength both physically and mentally. Challenges can build character and help us accept both victory and defeat. But, it is a rare person who asks God to test their heart and mind. Most of our testing happens against our will. Life presents many challenges when we least expect them, so why would we ask for more? We wouldn’t. But, I don’t think that is what the psalmist is asking for here. No one needs bad things to happen, yet hard times test us. I think the question is whether we want to dedicate our lives more and more to the LORD. Do we want to grow in faith? Do we want to submit ourselves to the steadfast love of the LORD? Are we afraid to find out that we weren’t walking in faithfulness to God? What happens when we ask God to prove us and try us testing our hearts and minds?
Just like an athlete, we wouldn’t run a marathon without training. My guess is that each of us is aware of where we are in our journey. What might happen if we took an assessment just to see? I invite you to use this psalm to take inventory. We can use each verse to see how we measure up. Do we trust in the LORD without wavering? Are we thankful? Do we love to spend time with God? Are we walking in integrity? The psalmist believes he/she is doing all of these things and wants God to test his/her resolve. This kind of test reveals both strengths and weaknesses. It can inspire us to draw closer to the LORD so that we might grow more and more in faith. And, if we are wanting in any area of our lives, God loves us so much that God will provide a way that we might experience the kind of transformation that only comes from the LORD.
Prayer: Holy God, we cry out to you in times of trouble to ask for help. We try to live out our lives in faithfulness to you and yet we are still met by adversity. When we are wrongly attacked, we call on you to make things right. Test us today so that we might find the affirmation of your great love in both our successes and our failures. Thank you for your presence in our lives, the way you challenge us, and the way you have promised to never fail or forsake us. We bless your name, now and forever. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.
Author: Deborah Conner
[Scripture quotations are from New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved].