“Examine me, O Lord, and try me;
Test my mind and my heart.” Psalm 26:2
“Search me, O God, and know my heart;
Try me and know my anxious thoughts;
And see if there be any hurtful way in me,
And lead me in the everlasting way.” Psalm 139:23-24
One way God shows us what is within us to to put us through testing, for our benefit, so that we may see dangers in our character and habits that could lead us to personal loss and harm to His kingdom.
We find out quickly what is within a glass when it is shaken or bumped. There were proving grounds near my childhood home where new car designs were tested by pushing them to the limits on the road course. Other products are tested for strength before release to the public, to assure our safety.
“I have refined you, but not as silver is refined.
Rather, I have refined you in the furnace of suffering.” Isaiah 48:10
Of course, our great Physician knows where to poke and prod to make His diagnosis. He helps us to see what is in our hearts, what occupies our minds. What are my loves? My idols? What do I love more than Him? What fills my thoughts as I go through each day? What am I worried about?
I should welcome such helpful, but painful diagnostic efforts. When He shows me the ugly habits of thinking and acting within me, then I can offer them back to Him for cleansing and needed mid-course corrections.
Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my anxious thoughts!