Come forth as gold

 

Job 23--10

The Verse of the Day for March 2, 2018 is found in Job 23:10-11 (NIV):

But he knows the way that I take; when he has tested me, I will come forth as gold. My feet have closely followed his steps; I have kept to his way without turning aside.

A previous blog entry made reference to a life-changing teaching from Dr. David Jeremiah, who taught on the refining fire of God more than ten years ago. Here are comments from an excerpt from a journal entry made following the teaching:

It is one of the most moving tapes I have heard, as he relates how God puts us through the process of refining in order to extract the precious metal from within us.  In the same way that a refiner breaks the stones and sends them through the fire over and over again, so God sends us through the fires of life in order to extract and purify the gold within our souls.  God removes our need to feel secure, to be in control, and to survive by putting in situations that try us, “fiery temptations” that prove who we really are.  God controls the entire process, determining the timing, the temperature, the target, and the terms of the fire. Our tendency is respond with a series of questions as to “why?”: “why me?”, “why now?”, and “why not someone else?”  Like children, we continually ask why when God, as a good parent, is not obligated to explain that which children cannot understand at the time they ask “why.”  The only questions we should be asking are “What are you trying to teach me?” and “What are you trying to change in me?”

In reflecting upon the passage from Job, my mind is flooded with an understanding of what is transpiring when like Job, we are tested on every hand. Another related passage also comes to mind from James 1:2-4 (NLT):

[Faith and Endurance] Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow.So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.

This particular passage also reminds us that as we wait on the Lord, we are not to waiting in a state of anxiety, not in a state of doubt or fear, as we encounter fiery trials.  Instead, the state in which we wait is the state of patience—we are patiently waiting.

In reflecting upon these passages, the whole idea of trials or troubles as tests comes to mind, as I recall a poem written from the perspective of a “student/teacher”:

All Tests

“Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and

Challenges come at you from all sides.” [The Message]

 James 1:2

 

With zeal we make our calling and election sure,

As we attempt to complete yet another test.

As ever eager students, we will do our best.

God promised good to us; His Word our hope secure.

Lord, search us and know us—discern our motives are pure.

Our souls now anchored in hope; in you we find rest.

You are our light, even when times seem their darkest.

As a patient father who seeks to reassure

Children, so the Master Teacher shows His design:

All tests are formed not to punish but to refine.

Despite shortcomings and failures we all have made,

You are gracious and generous each time You grade.

With each assignment, we seek to excel, not just pass,

But graduate with honors, at the top of our class.

Hebrews 10:36 also offers this reminder in the New Living Translation:

Patient endurance is what you need now, so that you will continue to do God’s will. Then you will receive all that he has promised.

Knowing this, we can count it all joy when we encounter various fiery trials that test our faith and build patient endurance. Like Job, we, too, shall “come forth as gold,” as Harvest Worship Band reminds us:

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