The trial of gold

gold-bar-146539_1280Job 23:10: But he knows the way that I take; when he has tried me, I shall come out as gold.

Gold, a precious metal, when it is extracted from earth, does not have usage value unless it does through purification. There are impurities in every man and each has to be passed through fire to bring out the best in us. We have to pass through the process of refinement, which is not often palatable.

Job described the experience of his trial as being passed through fire. At the end of his trial he came away with an expanded understanding of God, and with the restoration of all he had lost.

Every time of trial is followed by a time of restoration. Jesus himself passed through his trial of death on the cross and he came out as a life-giving spirit (1Corinthians 15:45). He came out to become the source of eternal life for those who believe in him. While he was alive he could give life to sick bodies making them well, but after his resurrection he could give eternal life to us who believe, making us alive in a spiritual sense (Ephesians 2:1).

Nearing the time of his death, Jesus asked that God restore back to him the glory he had with him at the beginning (John 17:5).The glory which he had with God in the beginning was as God the Word, and the prestige that goes with that. But there was a double restoration now after his trial on the cross. By his resurrection he became Lord, of both the living and the dead (Romans 14:9). He now has control over the grave (Revelation 1:18). By his death and resurrection, the bible says that Jesus has been given a name that is above every other name and that at the name of Jesus every knee must bow (Philippians 2:5-11). By sharing humanity and through his trial and the subsequent victory over the grave, we as the church could share the authority he attained to, with him. His pain was our gain.

Through his name, the disciples wrought signs and wonders. When Peter and John healed a man at the Beautiful Gate, Peter said it was not as a result of any special power that they possessed but that the name of Jesus and through faith in his name, the 40-year-old-lame-all-his-life man has been made whole (Acts 3:1-16).

With his death and his renewed authority in all realms, the disciples can use his name, and that invokes his presence, and the same power that he operated in while on earth in healing the sick, raising the death and other signs and wonders that he did, will also manifest.

Since His (Jesus) trial was for our benefit, your own trial will serve others as you are fashioned into a much powerful tool in the hand of God.  Every metallic tool has to be passed/forged through processes involving heat, melting, bending and stretching. Without passing through fire and having the impurities removed, gold cannot be turned into a thing of beauty; without trials you will not add much value to others.

David experienced trials. He ran to the wilderness away from the sword of Saul (1Samuel 24:14). But he was a better king than Saul because of his trial. If nothing else, he learnt how not to be like Saul. After his trial, David forgot his pain when he ruled over the whole Israel, experiencing God’s fulfilment of His promise to him, that he will be King. But the journey to that was marked with pain.

Joseph’s journey to the fulfilment of the plan of God for his life was also lined with pain (Genesis 37, 39-43). He went through the crucible of trial to become the leader God wanted him to be. He went through the refinement of fire. He was thrown into a pit, sold into slavery and unjustly put in prison.

Before his trial, he was the quintessential daddy’s boy. He went about with his cloth of many colours, given to him by his father, but eventually he had to ‘die’ to his father and his father to him as he spent decades in a foreign land. His father thought he had died, eaten up by a carnivore, as he was held up in a foreign land. At the end of the almost endless pain of those experiences, God made him ruler in Egypt and he became ‘father’ to his whole clan who came to Egypt depending on him for sustenance when famine struck the whole world. His dream came true, and his trials had conditioned him to be a better leader.

In the book of Malachi, the bible says that the Levites would be refined with a refiner’s fire (Malachi 3:2-4) so that they will make acceptable sacrifice to God. The trial makes you better in the service of God. It gives you a spiritual edge to be able to connect with others in their own trials, making you able to serve them better.

James said that we should rejoice when we fall into various trials because the trial of our faith works patience and that the end we will be perfect (James 1:1-4), lacking in no area. God uses the trial to work His work of grace in us.

Since we walk with God by faith (2Corinthians 5:7) and the trial is about our faith (1Peter 1:6-7), it means that the trial will ultimately shape us in the walk with God.

Since, Faith enhance our Walk with God

And, Trial enhances our Faith.

Therefore, Trials enhance our Walk with God.

Gold describes something of highest value; up to 2000oF/1093oC of temperature is needed to refine gold, making it usable. That is a lot of heat. But it is necessary to bring out the best in gold. What about God bringing out the best in you?

He disciplines you so that you might partake of His divine nature (Hebrews 12:1-13). The bible says: take the dross, the dirt from the silver, and you have something fitting for the jeweller to work with, to shape it into usable objects (Proverbs 25:4). There are experiences, even traumatic ones, which serve the purpose of shaping us well. God did not cause them, but he uses them, causing them to serve his purpose for us, bringing us to his ultimately good end.

You will understand that that pain serves a good purpose, when we look at things from God’s eternal point of view (Romans 8:28). If nothing else, at least you will have learnt to depend more on God. Paul when he asked God to remove the thorn in his flesh, a messenger of Satan that was buffeting him, was told he needed to learn to depend on the grace of God, rather than complaining about his situation (2Corinthians 12:7-9).

The trial of gold purifies it. A psalmist said: it is good that I was afflicted that I may learn your (God) statutes (Psalm 119:71). He linked his trials to his new sensitivity to the ways of God. It sharpened his spiritual sensitivity.

The soul is targeted in trials. Job’s will was under assault: his wife said that he should curse God (Job 2:9). His emotion was under assault, from the losses he suffered. His mind was under assault as his friends told him to confess some imagined wrong-doing.

His reputation suffered as those who used to have him in high esteem before, disregarded him. He suffered shame. But at the end his life became an eternal testimony of faithfulness to God (in the face of impossible situations), and how God will be faithful in return to make all things work together for those who love him and are called according to his purpose (Romans 8:28), even in situations that are like ‘burning experiences’.

Trial experiences burn off the works of the flesh. Jesus is called the one who baptises with Holy Spirit and with fire (Luke 3:16-17). And fire is a tool of purification. God is more interested in your purification process, the purification of your motivation, than your natural comfort, because he knows that on the long run, it is how much you are like him that will determine how much he can express himself through you, bringing others spiritual comfort; and that is your high value.

 

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