Forty

When we pass our period of testing and purification, when we learn to seek, to desire, and to trust in God alone, we obtain God’s promises for our lives.

In the Bible, the number forty signifies a period of testing:

  • During the time of Noah, it rained upon the earth for forty days and forty nights.
  • The Israelites wandered in the desert for forty years during the time of Moses.
  • In today’s Gospel reading, Jesus was led by the spirit into the desert where He was tempted by the enemy:
“At once the Spirit drove [Jesus] out into the desert, and he remained in the desert for forty days, tempted by Satan. He was among wild beasts, and the angels ministered to him.” — Mark 1:12-13

When we are tested, it is not just for God to know how much we have grown in our faith. God allows tests in our lives in order for us to grow in our faith.

When we are tested, God wants us to learn to seek and desire Him above all. He also wants us to learn to trust and depend on Him alone — not on bread, not on power, not on the riches of this world, and not even on our job security.

We are tested and shaken in order to be refined and purified so that only what belongs to God will remain.

“His voice shook the earth at that time, but now he has promised, ‘I will once more shake not only earth but heaven.’ That phrase, “once more,” points to [the] removal of shaken, created things, so that what is unshaken may remain.” — Hebrews 12:26-27

When we pass our period of testing and purification, when we learn to seek, to desire, and to trust in God alone, we obtain God’s promises for our lives:

  • After the flood was the new creation where the world was repopulated from the holy family of Noah.
  • After wandering in the desert for forty years, the Israelites arrived in and conquered the Promised Land.
  • After being tempted by the enemy in the desert for forty days, the ministry of Jesus finally began.
“Jesus came to Galilee proclaiming the gospel of God: ‘This is the time of fulfillment. The kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel.’” — Mark 1:14-15

What is God’s promise for your life? 

You may be in period of testing right now, but once you are refined, once you seek, desire, and trust Him and only Him, God will fulfill His promises to you.