"But He knows the way I take; When He has tried me, I shall come forth as gold.Job 23:10(NASB)
For multiple centuries the words of Job have been a comfort to many who are passing through the fires of testing, for they contain deep truths that formulate the warp and woof of the tapestry that is being woven in the life of every believer. Not one of God’s children is exempt from the tests and trials that overshadow the lives of all His children – and although the burdens that we are obligated to bear may seem to be of greater weight, and of a steeper incline, by comparison with others, the pressure is carefully weighed, in the balance of God’s deep love, for each of His own.
Jesus walked through this earthly path before us, and He grew weary and worn. He was tempted and tried like we are, yet without sin - and Jesus was also required to suffer deep pain in the fires of earthly affliction and false accusations. Jesus knew what it was to be misunderstood by friends and enemies alike, but He pressed on for the joy that was set before Him, enduring the cross and despising the shame. And like our Lord, we are also called upon to finish the course that it set before us so that we can say with Job – He knows the way I take, and when He has tried me, I shall come forth as gold.
The furnace of Job’s appointment was not a result of God’s neglect, nor a reflection of Job’s transgressions. His weight of suffering was a refining ministry that the Lord had permitted to overtake His faithful servant - with a purpose in view. The fires of affliction, though always painful, can either scorch and singe a servant of God OR they can become a purifying tool, that refines our character and hones us into the man or woman that the Lord desires us to be – for He knows the way that we take and His purposes all combine for our eternal good - and to the praise of His holy name.
When we understand that the will of God is to rid each of His children of all the accumulated dross and clutter of our lives – and burn away all that is of me, myself and I – we are better equipped to face the purifying furnace of affliction, in the knowledge that the tests and trials that we are facing are but for a moment - and when He has tried me – I shall come forth as gold.
Job was a man that knew his God and trusted His Word - even though he did not understand why the furnace appeared to be heated seven times hotter. Like Job we may not understand the divine purpose behind the cruel trials that we are obligated to bear – but His Word reminds us that God knows the plans He has for each of our lives – plans for good and not for evil. Let us trust His Word of truth, knowing that when He has tested us in His furnace of affliction, we WILL come forth as pure gold.
Loving Father, I don’t understand all that is going on in my life – but my times are in Your hands and so are the circumstances of those that I love. Thank You that all we face is under the shadow of Your protection. I pray that when I have been tried, I too will come forth as gold and pray that I will trust in Your unfailing love and not be afraid, in Jesus name I pray, AMEN.