Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you–unless, of course, you fail the test? 2 Corinthians 13:5
Exams are tests that are meant to show a person what they remember or demonstrate about something that they have learned. When people think about exams, most will think about exams that they had in school. From the elementary school age children to the college student going for a doctorate degree, each one has to go through a time of getting an exam, over and over.
Once people graduate their final year of school, many think that they are done with exams and tests, yet that is not always true. Many companies require annual testing of their workers to ensure they still know what they are supposed to be doing. Many job certifications require a regular testing to ensure they are still doing the job correctly.
It is common for people to fear exams. They worry if they will pass the exam, causing them great anxiety. Some know that there is a good chance they will not pass because they had not studied the material very much. Failure of an exam can mean repeating a class, loosing a job or position, embarrassment, and failure. No one wants to be seen as a failure.
Paul tells the people to examine themselves, to test themselves. Every believer needs to take some time and take a serious look at their lives close up. Ask themselves the hard questions to find out if they really are a believer in Jesus and whether they really are serving God or themselves. They need to find out if they really are trusting God or not.
This type of self-examination can be scary for some people, because they know in their heart that they are not really living for God as they should. There are areas in their heart that they refuse to give over to God. This points to failure. God sees that and is waiting for repentance and a return to Him.
Take a look at your own life and examine it closely. How are you living for God? How are you trusting in God? Is Jesus living in and through you?
If there is any part of the exam you fail, go to God about it. Repent and allow Him to change you. He wants you to pass that exam and will help you to pass it!
I pray today that you will live for God with all of your life; that you will pass the exam of living in faith in God; that you will go to God for any failures in the exam; and that God will build you up in Jesus to pass that exam.
“You will all fall away,” Jesus told them, “for it is written: ” ‘I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep will be scattered.’ But after I have risen, I will go ahead of you into Galilee.” Mark 14:27-28
Jesus had just predicted His death again, and also predicted that the disciples would abandon Him for a time. He does also say that He will meet with them again after He has risen.
Failure is something that everyone experiences at some point in their life. Each person has a different amount of failures and types of failures. Some keep trying many times and go through many failures. Many quit after a failure, giving up all hope of succeeding. Or they change what they are trying to accomplish.
Thomas Edison is known for saying that with each “failure” it was not a failure but a success. He then knew one more way not to do something.
God knows that every person is human and will make bad choices. They will fail at times in following Him with all of their heart and life. Jesus knew this about each of the disciples. They would deny Him and walk away in fear.
However, Jesus was still willing to accept them and work with and through them. Despite the failure, He planned to meet with them afterwards and move on, rather than giving up on them.
A lot of people have made mistakes and failed God, then quit trying to serve Him because they are such failures. They lose hope in being able to be saved by Jesus.
Salvation is not dependent upon how you live your life, it is dependent upon your belief that Jesus saved you and will save you. Take a look at the lives of the disciples and see how often they failed Jesus, and yet He still loved them and worked through them. He met with them afterwards and did not scold them for failing Him.
Do not cut yourself down when you fail God. Go to Him and repent and accept the forgiveness Jesus provides. Jesus is waiting for you. He is going ahead of you to meet with you when you are ready to meet with Him in your Galilee.
There is still hope after failure. It is not the end, until you take your last breath in this life. Believe in the hope Jesus provides you.
I pray today that you will know the hope Jesus provides; that you will know the forgiveness Jesus provides; that you will keep striving to serve God; and that you will trust in God with all of your life.