We have become so preoccupied in proving God that we have not prepared our hearts for the great tests of life whereby God proves man. Could it be that the great trial you are now facing, the burden you now carry, is actually God at work proving you?

We see an amazing thing in 2 Chronicles 32:31: God left a great king for a season to prove him. “God withdrew from him, in order to test him, that he might know all that was in his heart” (2 Chronicles 32:31, NKJV). God proved an entire nation to find out what was really in its heart. “You shall remember that the Lord your God led you all the way these forty years in the wilderness, to humble you and test you, to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep his commandments or not” (Deuteronomy 8:2).

Do you find yourself in strange circumstances? Do you feel forsaken and alone? Do you fight a losing battle with an unpredictable enemy? These are signs pointing to the proving process. Often, while in the righteous pursuit of God’s work, a steward of the Lord finds himself apparently forsaken and tried to the limits of endurance. Every man God has ever blessed has been proved in the same manner.

Victory is always desired, but should you fail, remember this: It is what remains in your heart that God is interested in. What is your attitude after you have won or lost the lonely battle? Your devotion to him is his desire.

Jesus has promised never to leave us or forsake us, but the record of scripture reveals there are seasons when the Father withdraws his presence to prove us. Even Christ experienced that lonely moment on the cross. It is in these times that our blessed Savior is most touched by the feeling of our infirmity, and he whispers, “I pray for you, that your faith fail not.”

Jesus says we are to take up our cross and follow him (see Matthew 16:24). What is that cross? It is the flesh with its frailness and weakness. Take it up and move on in faith, and his strength will be made perfect in you. Is your cross of self and sin too heavy? My friend, take up your cross and follow on. Christ understands and is there beside you to lift the heavy burden!