The spiritual tabletop test

IN his book What Good Is God? Phillip Yancey examines whether it makes any real difference if we believe or don’t believe in God in times of suffering.

Yancey starts with an example of “tabletop tests” in Silicone Valley where new products such as phones and MP3 players are placed on a tabletop and deliberately crashed to the ground to see if they still work in the real world

Yancey looked for similar tests in the realm of faith. He visited crisis points in the world – South Africa, the Middle East and India -and talked to groups of outcasts, prisoners, alcoholics and prostitutes. “When I spend time with these people, my own faith undergoes a tabletop test.,” he said

“It is one thing to say, Well, God is good because I live in a nice suburban home and my children are all Olympic athletes and doing well in school. But what good is God if you are in a prison being persecuted for your faith? That is to me the tabletop test of faith.”

He concluded that faith was about hope. Not a hope that we are going to live a problem-free existence, because that is not going to happen. “It is the hope that God is with us in these testing times of faith and that they can be redeemed, that good can be wrought out of them.”

“I’ve been privileged to see God at work.
“I have found that a time of pain and suffering can be a time when we are forced to stop in our tracks and ask ourselves what really matters.”

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6 thoughts on “The spiritual tabletop test

  1. Why not?:- Not a hope that we are going to live a problem-free existence, because that is not going to happen.”
    Is the task beyond the god of all hr universes? Or has Old Nick won?
    **************************

    Meanwhile, this is on the mark :- “I have found that a time of pain and suffering can be a time when we are forced to stop in our tracks and ask ourselves what really matters.”….
    which reminds me of an old wisdom:-

    “As you travel on through life, brother,
    Whatever be your goal,
    Keep your eye upon the Donut,
    And not upon the hole.”

    😉

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    • Have I eloped with Monica?
      Gee, funny you should mention that! Thought we were managing to keep it quiet.
      Rian.

      PS. nope, I’m still here. just been battling Telstra and a few other people during the last few weeks. Seeing some light at the end of the tunnel now, though, Promise though, that I’ll come back now/shortly and compose some more provocative posts again. So never fear, Dabbles.

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      • Yeahbut!…..It was the very fact of Monica keeping quiet that alerted me! 😉

        Like

  2. Jesus said the same thing in the parable of the two guys who built houses. Both houses looked good in times of good weather. Nobody could find anything wrong with these houses. Except when the storm came, one house fell down because the foundation was built on sand, whilst the other stood the storm because it was built on a rock.

    And the OT tells the story of Job, who merely showed where his loyalties were in a crisis.

    Some adversity merely reveals the truth about people and their relationship with God. If one is faced with this type of adversity, it is often too late to change.

    This is the type of adversity that soldiers who have been rejected from inclusion in the special forces face.

    Other adversity is brought on by God to purify His people. The OT uses the phrase of a refining fire to purify people (Mal. 3:3). Those who are familiar with metal casting understand the fact that refining fires are used to purify metals of impurities. In the same manner God uses adversity to show people their impurities and refine them. If they are willing. This type of adversity indicates serious problems that can be changed and corrected.

    This is also the type of adversity that the soldiers go through when considering selection for special forces.

    The trick is to find out what type of adversity we are facing and act accordingly.

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