Proverbs 17:3 The crucible is for silver, and the furnace is for gold, and the LORD tests hearts.
1 Peter 1:6-7 In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.
A man watched a silversmith sitting quietly while he gazed at the molten metal in a crucible. As the flame steadily burned underneath the container, the smith would periodically skim the silver and remove the impurities that floated to the surface.
“When do you know that it is pure?” the man asked the silversmith.
“When I can see my reflection clearly,” he replied.
The same holds true for us: the fire tests us, purifies us and creates in us the ability to better reflect Christ. During this time of testing, when the impurities rise to the surface and we see those thoughts, motives and attitudes bubble up from within ourselves, we should give God thanks that in the difficulties, he can reveal himself to us, and reveal himself through us, more clearly.
Tim Keller writes, “Some suffering is given in order to chastise and correct a person for wrongful patterns of life (as in the case of Jonah imperiled by the storm), some suffering is given not to correct past wrongs but to prevent future ones (as in the case of Joseph sold into slavery), and some suffering has no purpose other than to lead a person to love God more ardently for himself alone and so discover the ultimate peace and freedom…Suffering is actually at the heart of the Christian story.”
During this time, let’s pray that God would have his complete work done in his church as he creates in us a clearer reflection of Jesus.
- God will give us endurance during this time as we allow him time to work in us. – James 1:2-4Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.
- We will show thanks when affliction drives us deeper into the Word of God. – Psalm 119:71-72 It is good for me that I was afflicted, that I might learn your statutes. The law of your mouth is better to me than thousands of gold and silver pieces.
- We will fix our eyes on the things of eternal importance during our time of trial. – 2 Corinthians 4:16-18 So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.