“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.”
James 1:2-4 NLT
Faith that has not been tested cannot be trusted. We can profess our faith with our words but true faith is proved in the fire.
“These trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold—though your faith is far more precious than mere gold. So when your faith remains strong through many trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world.”
1 Peter 1:7 NLT
When gold, silver, or any form of metal is placed in the fire it becomes molten - a liquid form. This is a refining process. In the refiners fire the impurities come to the surface and are separated. This is called "dross". Dross is scum. The scum is discarded as waste and the remaining liquid is a pure form that is ready to be used for whatever the appropriate application may be.
God will use the circumstances of our lives to bring the dross to the surface as well. In the heated moments of our lives we manifest our impurities. This is a moment of sanctification if we submit to the Holy Spirit and let Him clean the scum out our lives. Then, when the pure substance of our lives is formed, we are ready for God's purpose.
Life can be very trying. Trials and testings are a part of life. We can choose to place them in the Master Refiners hands and allow Him to utilize them for our good or we can let the devil use them to injure and destroy us. When we place them in Gods hands we can be assured that He will use these moments to purify, purge, and prepare us for His glory!
Do you want to be pure, purged and prepared? Trust Him to use the trials of life to prepare you for His purpose. God wants you to be a vessel of honor to His name! Don't be afraid of the fire! Hananiah (Shadrach), Mishael (Meshach), and Azariah (Abednego) were, literally, thrown into a fiery furnace. (see Daniel Chapters 1-3). They were threatened by the fire, tested in the fire, taken through the fire, and able to testify beyond the fire because God was with them.
If you truly trust in Jesus, He is with you (see Matthew 28:20) and He will take you through the fire. Let Him use your life to testify of His keeping power. When you trust Him, joy will abound! Joy isn't happiness. Happiness is circumstance related (directly associated with what's "happening"). Joy is the deep down satisfaction that comes when we trust God regardless of the circumstances! Stop trying to fix things and start trusting God to transform it! He can take a mess to preach a message and He can take a test to develop a testimony!
Curtis R. Norris
Rev. Curtis Norris