God Doesn’t “Test” Us—He Tries the Reins. Understanding Jeremiah 17:10

God Doesn’t “Test” Us—He Tries the Reins. Understanding Jeremiah 17:10

Despite popular stereotypes, I’m at your service to clarify and break down a common negative misconception of God: the connotation that we attribute to the word “TEST,” when applied to Christianity. Let’s first look at why our culture has cultivated a negative vibe around the word “test,” then properly translate the KJV Bible verse, and then we can finally begin to understand how the proper meaning of Jeremiah 17:10 relates to our lives.

Many people I have spoken to about Biblical concepts have voiced their distaste over the idea that if we were made by a God who loves us, then “what’s up with all the tests?” The first issue is that our culture has a negative outlook on this word, because we associate it with a feeling of defensiveness—this comes from the ego, not the higher self. Surely if we are being tested, it must mean that we can’t be trusted to succeed at the task, right? But really think about the times we are subject to testing in the real world… job interviews, driving, and pre-exams we take before the final. The reason we undergo these “trial runs” is because we are trying to set ourselves up for success! Sometimes during the pre-runs, we fail, and realize we need more practice, which is part of the design. God wants to see all of us succeed, and the way He tests us is actually quite beautiful…

The KJV translation of Jeremiah 17:10 doesn’t even use the word “test,” but rein, which means to limit or control. Here is the verse:

“I the Lord search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings.”


1. He searches our hearts, which is such a wonderful act of His love for us. He wants to know us so well, that He begins this verse by saying that He searches the depths of our heart’s, finding what it is we want the most and then He intervenes to help us attain those desires.

2. His intervention is Him “trying” us to see where we’re currently at. Why? Because His goal is to give us the ultimate fruit—blessings, desires, and successful outcomes, but we can only be given these things when we’re ready.

3. Once He tries the reins, He then decides what we’re ready to receive according to how we performed. If we are not ready to receive the best fruit He has for us, we’ll simply continue forward learning and growing, knowing that, along the way, He will continually check in. Once God feels that we’re ready to receive our heart’s desires, He will then give us the things He knows we truly want.

Would you go into a job interview unprepared? No. Would you take a driving exam without ever getting behind the wheel of a vehicle? No. Would you take a final exam without ever studying? No. And finally, to all the parents out there… would you just hand your kids the car keys on a Friday night, or let them take a friend-vacation, or throw a party at the house when you’re away if you have never tried the reins to see if they’re ready to handle that kind of privilege or responsibility? No. This is why God puts us all through a series of mini trials before blessing us with the big answered prayers. He wants to see us thrive and enjoy all that He has prepared for us!

Always remember that God not only searches our heart, He knitted it together Himself. He knows every desire, fear, concern, need, and request. Trust His process and welcome the times we need some more practice. God loves us so much that He will never stop growing roses on our soul to elevate us to limitless heights. His plans are never early or late, but right on time… and all of our training is preparing us to receive the best He has for us!

Now we understand that Spiritual tests are positive, loving, and meant to guide us toward the best life possible. Enjoy the journey!

With Love, Michelle