That verse has had me thinking for a few weeks. I know the Lord tries us or proves us. In other words he observes us to see how we handle trials as well as ease. He wants to see who we really are. Are we the spiffy looking person we like to appear as at church or do we act different when we can, when others don't see us and maybe when we think God won't notice.
Sometimes God does special things to try us to see where our heart lies. Like in Doctrine and Covenants 124:55 when he gives Joseph Smith and the church the commandment to build a temple and explains: "that you may prove yourselves unto me that ye are faithful in all things whatsoever I command you, that I may bless you, and crown you with honor, immortality, and eternal life. "
How would we respond to a commandment especially one that was clearly labeled as a trial not just to see how we respond but so that we can get a desired reward by proving worthy of it. Doesn't that happen frequently in our lives and in our society. We often maybe even typically have to prove ourselves worthy by our effort or attitude or both to receive the promised reward. Isn't that what a job application is about. We show what we have done in the past that prepared us to do what the job requires and why we should get it. A good resume tells them what our qualifications are but also tells them who we are. But we hear about falsified resumes and that sort of stuff from time to time, I don't think that works with God.
Not only does He know our heart but He proves us so that there is no question. Maybe so that we know our heart too and can't hide behind our excuses or even our fears. Our excuses about why we didn't...whatever, and our fears (I'm thinking here of fears about not being able or good enough to...whatever, our lack of self esteem or maybe better said as our lack of recognition of our self worth). God not only tries us to prove to Him but maybe to prove to ourselves (maybe sometimes surprise ourselves) as to what and who we really are and what we stand and will stand for and/or against. Sometimes, unfortunately we may prove how quickly we will lay down when things get tough.
This idea of being tried individually and our life being a big trial to allow ourselves to prove ourselves is not new and is all through the scripture[click here to see examples] s. And these are just a few of them.
But another related idea that intrigues me is that we also get the opportunity to prove God in a manner of speaking. Lest we distrust or disbelieve that He will do as He says then we only need to DO what he says and prove Him. This is mentioned in relation to one specific principle of the Gospel in Malichi 3:10: "Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it." I suspect that we also prove God when we do other things He has commanded and reap the blessings and consequences of that obedience. Similarly when we do the things He says not to do we reap that result as well. And all this reaping proves Him, that He does what He says and that things really are as He says they are.
All this proving and trying of us to Him makes these words in Jacob 4:13 even clearer: "for the Spirit [keep in mind that the Spirit, the Holy Spirit is part of the Godhead] speaketh the truth and lieth not. Wherefore, it speaketh of things as they really are, and of things as they really will be; wherefore, these things are manifested unto us plainly, for the salvation of our souls. But behold, we are not witnesses alone in these things; for God also spake them unto prophets of old." So let us open our eyes and see what is clear so we can know what really is going on and not be duped or stupefied but instead prove ourselves faithful and true.