“Some time later God tested Abraham. He said to him, “Abraham!” “Here I am,” he replied. Then God said, “Take your son, your only son, whom you love—Isaac—and go to the region of Moriah. Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on a mountain I will show you” (Genesis 22:1-2).

The story of God calling Abraham to sacrifice Isaac is tough to stomach. How could a loving heavenly Father even suggest such a thing? It’s not just incomprehensible. It’s absolutely unconscionable. But the Biblical stories that cause the most cognitive dissonance to our logical minds often contain the greatest revelations. Instead of dissecting Scripture, we need to let Scripture dissect us—our thoughts and attitudes, our dreams and desires, our fears and hopes. Too often we approach stories like this one as if God is on trial, but it’s not His character that is in question. It’s our character that is on the stand. And that is precisely why God tests us. God never intended for Abraham to sacrifice his son. It was only a test. In fact, God would not have allowed the slaying of Isaac. He simply wanted to test Abraham to see if he was willing to obey the most counterintuitive command imaginable. Scripture explicitly reads: “God tested Abraham.” And Abraham passed the test. That’s how you get a testimony. No test=No testimony. So, the next time you are tested, recognize it for what it is. A test is simply an opportunity to get a testimony. I didn’t get a testimony in seminary. I got a great education, but you don’t get a testimony by listening to a lecture or sermon or speech in the comfortable confines of a classroom, church, or conference. You get a testimony in the wilderness like Moses, on the Sea of Galilee like Peter, or on the mountain like Abraham.

Adapted from “All In” by Mark Batterson