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After Krias Yam Suf the Bnei Yisroel arrived in Mara and had no water to drink because the water there was bitter. Hashem told Moshe to throw in a bitter tree and the water became sweet. After this incident the pasuk recaps and says "Sham Sam Lo Chok UMishpat VSham Nisahu"; in Mara Hashem gave them mitzvos and tested them. Why was it so important to test them?
The Netziv explains that the Torah is teaching us a valuable lesson for all generations about Bitachon and earning a living. Sometimes a person's finances come down to the last penny and it looks like he will have nothing to eat. The future looks bleak and there is no help in sight. Even then a person must be confident in Hashem that he will provide a way to support him. Hashem is "Kol Yachol" and His salvation can be provided from the most unexpected sources. Just like the bitter tree was the least expected solution to cure bitter water so too Hashem can bring your fortune from what appears to be the exact opposite, so don't ever lose hope. Hang tough, it is all just a test!