These are not always the words we like to read in Scripture. None of us like facing trials of many kinds. All of us would prefer an easy life. But James 1:2-3 says ‘Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance’. Unfortunately being in the Kingdom of God doesn’t guarantee us an easy walk. It’s through the hardships, when we’re under pressure, that we’re refined like gold.
Sometimes we may feel like saying to God, “can You turn down the heat a bit!” But God wants us to shine. The refining and honing are painful processes, but if we face up to them we’ll see all the dross come to the surface. In other words, what’s really in our hearts? I’ve been shocked at my own reactions to things when the pressure comes on, not always a pretty sight or sound. I’m constantly reminded that the mouth speaks of what the heart is full of. At that point of refining I need to ask the Lord for His forgiveness, and for Him to renew a right spirit within me. We can only stand these trials when we’re trusting in our Lord, not wavering. In James 1:6 it says ‘But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt’.
Let’s take courage that God wants the best for us, and wants us to shine for Him. He wants to give us the crown of life. But shining means refining! Take heart that He won’t allow us to go through more than we can bear, even if it feels like the elastic can’t stretch any further at times.
God wants to bless us, and as we persevere under trials, walk in His righteousness, and keep ourselves from being polluted by the world, we’ll shine like stars in this dark world.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank You that You care so much for me that You send trials so I’m refined like gold. It’s not easy, Lord, but with Your help, and keeping my eyes fixed on You and not the trials, I’m able to walk through this to the other side. In this process, Lord, keep my heart pure, and help me have the right heart attitude towards You, myself and others. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.
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