One definition or meaning of “testing” is “a critical examination, observation, or evaluation”; while “trusting” is the “assured reliance on the character, ability, strength, or truth of someone or something.”
Many seem to confuse those two definitions and are under the erroneous impression that they are “trusting” God when, in fact, they are “testing” Him – something He clearly forbid us to do! (See Exodus 17:2 and 17:7; Deuteronomy 6:15 – 17 and 33:8; Psalm 78:18 and 95:8; Matthew 4:7; and Luke 4:7-12).
Let’s look at just one example of Messiah Yeshua, who trusted YHWH, his Father, for EVERYTHING – even in the Garden of Gethsemane, where he was literally sweating blood because he knew of the horrific terror, pain and torture that lay ahead. Amidst the horror and grief at the mere thought of being physically tortured and then ultimately nailed to a stake, Yeshua – rather than to beg his Father to spare or release him from his fate – TRUSTED YHWH help him through the coming ordeal – because he knew this is why he was sent.
Luke 22: 41. And he departed from them about a throw of a stone, and he knelt and was praying. 42. And he said, Father if you desire you let this cup pass over me, but not my will, rather let yours be done. 43. Then a Messenger appeared to him from Heaven to strengthen him. 44. And while being in fear, he was praying earnestly and his sweat became like drops of blood. And he fell upon the ground. (AENT)
Had Yeshua allowed his “flesh” to take over, he would might have decided to “test” his Father’s love, and said something like, “Father, know why I was sent, but if you truly love me, you’ll put a stop to those who wish to kill me so I can continue to live”….
Here is another example of “trust”:
Matthew 4:5 Then the Adversary took him to the holy city and set him on the highest point of the Temple. 6 “If you are the Son of God,” he said, “jump! For the Tanakh says, ‘He will order his angels to be responsible for you...They will support you with their hands, so that you will not hurt your feet on the stones.’” 7 Yeshua replied to him, “But it also says, ‘Do not put Adonai your God to the test.’” (CJB)
COULD YHWH have kept Yeshua safe, had he decided to jump? Certainly! But WOULD He? That’s no different from you or me deciding to cross a busy highway without bothering to look both ways, first. Sure, we can TRUST that God would keep us safe, but WILL He?
How many members of weird religious cults have died over the years when they thought they were “proving their faith” by reaching into a cage of poisonous vipers because they misinterpreted passages such as Mark 16:17–18? YHWH gave us brains to THINK with, and the first thought when our lives are in danger should be to protect our temples/bodies (1 Corinthians 6:19-20)! “Proving” one’s faith (or proving God’s protection) by purposely putting our lives in danger, is a violation of His command NOT to put Him to the test!
Do you get it? TRUSTING is when we accept our circumstances and simply ask ELOHIM to help us to safely reach the other side while learning and hopefully growing from the ordeal. TESTING consists of us trying to impose OUR will onto Him via whatever means possible, in hopes of achieving our own, personal desires.
For instance, when my husband was suddenly taken from me recently, I never once said, “WHY, God?” (I’ve known many who have done that; and even witnessed one woman who became an instant atheist because she refused to believe that a “good God” would allow her husband to die…)
Instead of becoming angry or belligerent, I thanked YHWH for allowing Bill and me to have 21 beautiful years together; and asked Him to make my path smooth and straight while I was learning how to live a widow.
YES, I was unhappy and experiencing the kind of grief that can only be understood by those who have lost loves ones. But I also knew that our time on earth is through when YHWH says it’s through, and – like Aharon, who never said a word when YHWH slew his sons for “offering strange fire before the Lord” (Leviticus 10:1-7), I had enough maturity and common sense in the middle of my worst grief, to respect ADONAI’s will in this matter.
Not MY will, Father, but YOURS be done! THAT is one of the major difference between “trusting” and “testing”…