Hard Testing

As I approach my 51st birthday, I feel that I want to share with you what God is speaking into my spirit instead of talking about weight loss and fitness…..
I’ve mentioned several times in the last few months that I’ve been reading the Complete Jewish Bible. Several weeks ago, I read the Lord’s Prayer  and noticed that Stern translates temptation into “hard testing.” And again, I noticed the same thing as I was reading Luke this morning.
And do not lead us into hard testing but keep us safe from the Evil One.
For kingship, power and glory are yours forever. Amen.’ (Complete Jewish Bible)

And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.’ (NIV)

When he arrived, he said to them, “Pray that you won’t be put to the test.”
On reaching the place, he said to them, “Pray that you will not fall into temptation.”

For me this is powerful because I always wondered exactly what Jesus meant when he said don’t lead us into temptation. James 1:13 had taught me,

When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.”
For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone;
And yet, Jesus taught us to pray that we not be led into temptation. I had finally settled on praying that Jesus not allow me to be led into temptation or allow temptation to lead me.  But I never, ever gave any thought to praying that  times of hard testing would not come my way. I guess I just thought that I needed to prove myself over and over by passing these tests. And when I failed those tests I was absolutely convinced that I had not only failed myself but had sorely disappointed my Heavenly Father.
Now, I’m certain that I’ve taken (and failed) far many more tests than I was ever meant to take because I wasn’t wise enough to pray that those times of hard testing would not come my way.

Now, I’m learning to pray that those times of testing not come my way. And if they show up as  a pop quiz that I’m given the grace to pass them quite easily.