Specific Text: 2 Cor. 13:5
Very few people like to be tested. There is an actual psychological condition known as 'test anxiety.' Some people can have an expert grasp on a subject, yet as soon as the test begins their brain freezes up and they sputter.
I once had an EMS instructor who understood this concept, so he never referred to tests as 'tests,' rather he called them a 'celebration of knowledge.' A 'test' sometimes feels like a demonstration of what you don't know, whereas a 'celebration of knowledge' acknowledges what you have learned.
It's this positive sense of the word 'test' that Paul has in mind here. He wants you to test / celebrate your faith. In fact, let's quickly participate in this celebration of knowledge:
Are you completely depending on Jesus for your salvation, or are you thinking that your behavior, whether it's good or bad, is what will determine your eternal destiny?
Do you recognize the sin in your life, and are you doing everything you can to kill it off?
Is your life more sanctified (looking like Jesus) now than it was last year, last month, or even last week?
Can you see the fruits of the Spirit (Gal. 5:22) in your life?
So how did you do? Chances are that if you have healthy spiritual disciplines - reading God's Word each day, praying often, attending weekly worship, learning more and more about God - you did well and have lots to celebrate.
Paul wrote the Corinthians because they were not doing so well on this test. They weren't totally flagging it (even if you did poorly on the test, but really want to do well on it, it's evidence that you're not failing either), but their sinful lives indicated that they needed improvement. It's with this in mind that Paul reminds them of this massive truth: Christ Jesus is in you!
When you remember that you are not trying to pass this test in your own strength, but rather in the strength of Jesus, not only will you not suffer from test anxiety, but you will find yourself wanting to celebrate this knowledge regularly.
Prayer For The Day: Father, thank you for injecting your Son, Jesus Christ, into my life. Help me to constantly test my faith, so that I might be reminded of my dependence on Jesus, and celebrate the blessings that He brings me, even as I examine the areas of my life that I need to bring in line with your will. Amen.