“ Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance” (James 1: 2-3).

According to Jewish tradition God gave Abraham ten different tests. This one is the final exam. It was brilliantly and specifically designed to test whether of not Abraham was all in. it was pass or fail. God tests us for two primary reasons: first it’s an opportunity for God to prove Himself to us and second, it’s an opportunity for us to prove ourselves to God. That’s why we should consider it joy when we experience trials. trials are the proving grounds. When Abraham raised the knife, God knew that Abraham was all in because he was willing to sacrifice what was most precious to him. And God proved Himself as Provider. If Abraham hadn’t gone all in, he would have rodded God of the opportunity to provide a ram in the thicket. After all, God cannot reveal His faithfulness until we exercise our faith. But because Abraham went all in, God was able to reveal Himself as Jehovah-Jireh, God our provider. According to one Jewish rabbi, the ram God provided on Mount Moriah was created at twilight on the sixth day of creation for the specific purpose of taking Isaac’s place on the altar. The ram grazed under the tree of life in the garden of Eden until the very moment Abraham needed it. There is no Biblical substantiation for that tradition, do it may or may not be true. But either way, it’s a figurative picture of a literal truth. Long before God laid the foundation of the earth, He anticipated and provided for everything we’d ever need. You just need to give Him an opportunity to prove Himself faithful.

Adapted from “All In” by Mark Batterson