Yes, it’s true that since becoming a Bahá’í the tests have been one intense test after another. Bahá’u’lláh tells us this is what happens:
Even as He hath revealed: ‘Do men think when they say “We believe” they shall be let alone and not be put to proof?’ (Bahá’u’lláh, Kitáb-i-Íqán, pp. 8-9)
Shoghi Effendi tells us:
And yet, . . . it is the lot of the chosen ones of God, the people of Baha, to face adversity and suffer tribulation before achieving ultimate victory . . . (Shoghi Effendi, Baha’i Administration, p. 60)
He understands how hard it is to bear our tests:
It is easy to approach the Kingdom of Heaven, but hard to stand firm and staunch within it, for the tests are rigorous, and heavy to bear. (‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Selections from the Writings of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, p. 274)
He shows us there are two kinds of Bahá’ís – those who are tested and those who aren’t. The Cause rests on those who are!
There is always an important difference between friends and tested friends. No matter how precious the first type may be, the future of the Cause rests upon the latter. (Shoghi Effendi, The Light of Divine Guidance, vol. 1, p. 34-35)
The world needs you to pass these tests!
God understands how hard it is:
It is often difficult for us to do things because they are so very different from what we are used to, not because the thing itself is particularly difficult. With you, and indeed most Bahá’ís, who are now, as adults, accepting this glorious Faith, no doubt some of the ordinances, like fasting and daily prayer, are hard to understand and obey at first. But we must always think that these things are given to all men for a thousand years to come. For Bahá’í children who see these things practiced in the home, they will be as natural and necessary a thing as going to church on Sunday was to the more pious generation of Christians. (Shoghi Effendi, Lights Of Guidance, p. 343)
It is not easy for people to learn the Bahá’í way, to overcome their inherited prejudices or to resist their personal temptations. This way takes time, is subject to checks and backsliding, but one can see, looking at the past 138 years, that there is an overall advance that is astonishing in the light of the obstacles to be overcome, and is accelerating with every passing decade. (The Universal House of Justice, Messages 1963 to 1986, p. 516)
This is what happens when you don’t:
When an individual reaches a point where he recognizes Bahá’u’lláh as a Manifestation of God, his heart becomes the recipient of the light of God’s Faith for this day. If the believer immerses himself from the start in the ocean of Bahá’u’lláh’s Revelation, reads His writings daily not merely in order to add to his own knowledge but to receive the food of the spirit, seeks the companionship of the righteous, and arises to serve Him with sincerity and detachment, then he may steadily grow in faith and become a radiant and enthusiastic soul. He may obtain a deeper understanding of the writings and reach a point where both his mind and his heart work together in harmony. Such a believer will eventually find no conflict between the teachings of Bahá’u’lláh and his own thinking. He will discover many a wisdom hidden in the utterances of Bahá’u’lláh and will recognize the limitations and shortcomings of his own finite mind. But if a believer, after having recognized Bahá’u’lláh, fails to follow this path, he may soon find himself in conflict with many aspects of the Faith of Bahá’u’lláh. His intellect may not be able to understand the wisdom behind many of His Teachings, he may indeed reject some of His precepts and eventually lose faith altogether. Some people struggle for years to overcome this problem, for they long to be confirmed in their faith. Often such an individual may be helped to acquire a true understanding of the Faith by those who truly believe in Bahá’u’lláh and are detached from this world. (Adib Taherzadeh, The Revelation of Baha’u’llah v 2, p. 217)
The House of Justice tells us:
The souls who bear the tests of God become the manifestations of great bounties: for the divine trials cause some souls to become entirely lifeless, while they cause the holy souls to ascent to the highest degree of love and solidity. (The Universal House of Justice, 1985 Dec 02, Child Abuse, Psychology and Knowledge of Self)
Don’t become one of the lifeless! The world needs you!
In the end, it all boils down to one thing: trust in God!
No matter what happens, nothing is as important as our feeling of trust in God, our inner peacefulness and faith that all, in the end, in spite of the severity of the ordeals we may pass through will come out as Bahá’u’lláh has promised. (Shoghi Effendi, Lights of Guidance, p. 237)
Hope this helps you to understand the tests you’re having in a new light!
What has been your experience with tests since you became a Bahá’í? What helped you overcome them? Post your comments below: