Key Scriptures on God's Testing and God's Discipline
Testing Our Faith (and Minds and Hearts)
Genesis 22:1 (ESV)
After these things God tested Abraham and said to him, “Abraham!” And he said, “Here I am.”
Exodus 20:20 (ESV)
Moses said to the people, “Do not fear, for God has come to test you, that the fear of him may be before you, that you may not sin.”
Deuteronomy 13:1-3 (ESV)
1 “If a prophet or a dreamer of dreams arises among you and gives you a sign or a wonder, 2 and the sign or wonder that he tells you comes to pass, and if he says, ‘Let us go after other gods,’ which you have not known, ‘and let us serve them,’ 3 you shall not listen to the words of that prophet or that dreamer of dreams. For the Lord your God is testing you, to know whether you love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul.
Psalm 7:9 (ESV)
Oh, let the evil of the wicked come to an end, and may you establish the righteous— you who test the minds and hearts, O righteous God!
1 Thessalonians 2:4 (ESV)
but just as we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel, so we speak, not to please man, but to please God who tests our hearts.
James 1:3-4 (ESV)
2 Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, 3 for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. 4 And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.
James 1:12 (ESV)
Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him.
Discipline for Sin
Deuteronomy 8:5 (ESV)
Know then in your heart that, as a man disciplines his son, the Lord your God disciplines you.
2 Samuel 7:13-15 (ESV)
13 He [king David's son] shall build a house for my name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever. 14 I will be to him a father, and he shall be to me a son. When he commits iniquity, I will discipline him with the rod of men, with the stripes of the sons of men, 15 but my steadfast love will not depart from him...
Psalm 94:12 (ESV)
Blessed is the man whom you discipline, O Lord, and whom you teach out of your law
Proverbs 3:11 (ESV)
My son, do not despise the Lord's discipline or be weary of his reproof
Proverbs 12:1 (ESV)
Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is stupid.
Proverbs 13:24 (ESV)
Whoever spares the rod hates his son, but he who loves him is diligent to discipline him.
Hebrews 12:5-11 (ESV)
5 And have you forgotten the exhortation that addresses you as sons?
“My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord,
nor be weary when reproved by him.
6 For the Lord disciplines the one he loves,
and chastises every son whom he receives.”
7 It is for discipline that you have to endure. God is treating you as sons. For what son is there whom his father does not discipline? 8 If you are left without discipline, in which all have participated, then you are illegitimate children and not sons. 9 Besides this, we have had earthly fathers who disciplined us and we respected them. Shall we not much more be subject to the Father of spirits and live? 10 For they disciplined us for a short time as it seemed best to them, but he disciplines us for our good, that we may share his holiness. 11 For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.
Revelation 3:19 (ESV)
Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline, so be zealous and repent.
God tests our faith and our minds and hearts through various types of trials. God reproves and disciplines us for our sins. In both cases God does so out of His great love for those whom He calls His children.
1 John 3:1 (ESV)
See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!
God tests us so that we may know the condition of our hearts and the state of our own faith in God and make a choice to persevere with righteousness through hardship and trials (1 Pet 2:20) in total dependence on Him (Prov 3:5-7).
God reproves and disciplines us so that we might learn, by free will choice, to stop our sinful behavior so that we may live and not die (Deut 30:19). God does not take pleasure in the death of anyone (Ezek 18:32). Sin, if not remedied through confession and sincere repentance, leads to spiritual death which includes spiritual bondages.
The fear of the Lord leads to life (Prov 14:27).