Today's verse is John 5:6: "He said this to test him, for he himself knew what he would do." My child, when I asked Philip where we could buy bread for all the thousands coming to me, I knew the answer to my question.  I wanted Philip to learn to think for himself.  I didn't want him, nor any of my disciples, to think that following me merely meant me meeting all their needs.  I didn't want them to think that following me was all about me serving them, not them serving me.  Too much wrong teaching has centered on this perspective.  I do meet my follower's needs.  But it's always in response to them putting my kingdom first in their lives.

In fact, I said this to "test him."  I knew exactly the resources upon which I'd draw to feed the five thousand.  My resources are limitless.  All I ever need is given to me by my Father with a spoken word of faith.  However, Philip, nor any of the other twelve, yet possessed this faith.  It was still developing.

Yes, they had seen my miracles.  They had already witnessed me doing marvelous deeds.  But they hadn't yet learned all I wanted them to know about faith.  So I constantly had to test their faith.  I had to place them in situations where they had to exercise their faith for themselves.  This is one of those situations.

I do the same with you.  It's not because I enjoy placing you in difficult situations.  It's only because I know the need for faith development in your life.  I want you to be able to face all the trials and turmoils of following me with a great faith.  Words you may speak about me are one thing.  You may say, in a worship time, "I believe in God the Father almighty, and in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord," but when you are faced with a crisis, with a difficulty too big for you, do you really believe that I am Lord over all?  Do you still trust me in every area of your life, even though you're facing a tough trial?

Just like a teacher gives a test to a student to make sure he or she knows the material, similarly, I give my students tests to make sure they understand faith.  Without faith it's impossible to please me.  I love great faith.

Do you have great faith?  When my tests come to you, do you pass them with flying colors?  Do you still believe, even though feelings and circumstances may tell you not to believe?

Receive my tests of faith with great joy.  I am in them.  I am working through them.  They have purpose in my development of you.  Trust my love and grace even though the test is real and hard.

You can trust me today.