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Signposts: Daily Devotions

Wednesday, July 29

No testing has overtaken you that is not common to everyone. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tested beyond your strength, but with the testing he will also provide the way out so that you may be able to endure it.
—1 Corinthians 10:13

It helps to have a strong sense of self-knowledge when we try to identify our character strengths and weaknesses.  Knowing our good points and bad points and what they will or will not tolerate can sometimes make us feel like less than desirable company. 

For example, if someone who enjoys relaxing on the sofa were invited instead to spend that time jogging with friends, even though that person dislikes jogging, he or she might consider doing so simply for the sake of getting along with others. The question is this: Are they considering the jog because they are not sure as to the limits of their tolerances? Or are they wavering because they fear not being liked or being labeled as difficult to get along with?

When we are compelled to act in a particular way, or talk according to someone else's standards, or are required to be sociable in an environment that we find undesirable, we are experiencing societal pressure. We find our feelings in turmoil because we are trying to please others rather than ourselves.

Then, because we haven’t done the hard work around self-knowledge, we find our soul troubled as well, and blame God for our lack of peace. There is no doubt that others test us, and we too test ourselves, but God does not test us beyond our strength. 

When we find our soul in spiritual turmoil and are longing for release, it might be good to dig a little deeper within to determine if our testing is coming from ourselves or from God.

Gracious God, help me see clearly the reasons for the disturbances in my soul, so that I may pray with honesty.