“For you, O God, tested us; you refined us like silver. You brought us into prison and laid burdens on our backs. You let men ride over our heads; we went through fire and water, but you brought us to a place of abundance” Psalm 66:10-12
God put’s His people through the test. When we are being tested, God has a purposeful end where we will look, sound, different than before the test. I think if we had it our own way, we would not include tests into our daily lives. To us, they are disruptive and unnecessary, most of us would think that we don’t need any more testing, and yet; God say’s that “His ways are not our ways”. God’s way is contrary to our way. He chooses for us the ‘narrow path’ that though can be painful and weary leads us to depend on Him, count on Him, and see in the tests the paths of righteousness.
I have always been enamored with this passage in Luke 9:57, “And it happened as they were going in the way, one said to Him, Lord, I will follow You wherever You go.” Can I say during the testing that “I will follow You wherever You go.” ?
God puts us in Testing to ‘prove us”. He puts us in ‘live’ situations that allow us to see where we are in our walk, following the Lord can let the Lord lead us into difficult situations that reveal our character and trust in God. He tests us by fire, by trials with the intent to purify us. The illustration of how a craftsman goes about purifying silver ore to make into a shining piece of metal is interesting. They take the silver ore rock and throw it into a vat that is heated to an extreme temperature. As the ore is melted, the dross, or scum rises to the top where it is skimmed off the top and the process is repeated until the silver us refined.
When we are tested by fire, God’s purpose is to purify you, make you clear and distinguishable of all God desires you to be in Him. When we come out of the fire of purification, we look, sound different than when we came into the test. God uses testing to, like the silver; to remove the scum off our hearts, and set a right heart in us.
“we went through fire and water, but you brought us to a place of abundance”
Water and fire are essential to our lives in this world. Two thirds of our physical bodies are made up of water. Fire is important to have to cook our meals and warm our houses on a cold day. But these elements can also become dangerous, when out of control. Sometimes we have circumstances in our lives that both of these elements spiritually can overwhelm us and cause us to become frustrated because they are out of control. And so God will bring in a test to help us, to save us from what we are blinded not seeing what God sees.
I remember once when I was body surfing at the beach when I found myself too late to see that the riptide was carrying me farther and farther out into the ocean. I remember what I was taught, that when you get caught in the riptide, you swim to the left or the right that you not be pulled out into deeper waters. I remember, once, twice, three times I struggled before I was able to overcome the danger and find myself at the shore. The same thing in our walks. We can be blinded by the environment and the circumstances that we can’t see the dangerous effects of where we find ourselves God sees what we need, and acts as is necessary for our lives. He uses fire and water to bring us to the understanding that He always has our best interest at heart, and we need the testing to see it, to see where we stand, in peril, or in safety.
All of our trials are for strengthening and enrichment, to make us wealthy in God. Wealth of godliness, holiness, and a knowledge of God, and a wealth, a storage house of Prayer that before the trial may have been low or empty. It’s amazing what a good trial will do for our prayer life. Nothing can teach us to pray except that we experience, first hand the anguish of difficult experiences, where God places us for a time into the fire……then, we really pray! We begin to relate to David’s prayers where he cried out to the Lord.
God eventually brings us through all our trials, because they come from Him, and He brings them that we experience His love, and His faithfulness to make us stronger and more dependent upon Him. When we get there, we begin to take our hands off the things that lead us astray, and our hands become holders of our cross, we begin to pick up our crosses daily and shun the blindness of this world. God’s grand design is to use the tests to reveal our need of His hands to work out the scum in our hearts and to use the trials to refine our thinking, turn to Him in prayer and take up our crosses and follow Him.
I can’t say it enough times, that God has brought my testing, my trial of fighting this cancer. Though God is using these extreme medicines to heal me physically, He, in the testing is removing the scales from my eyes to see the beauty He is purifying in me. I can begin to see the spiritual work He is doing, leading me closer to Him in my prayer life. And finally, I can see my need to take up my cross and follow Him. How about you today? I’m not saying that you should pray for testing and trials, but I am saying that when they come, accept them, receive them as you would with everything else God has blessed you with. After all, “Every good and perfect gift comes from above”. Can it be our perspective of God is askew, and that God is actually bringing us a gift that in due time will be revealed and seen as purified and shiny as silver.
Here is Today’s Video- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uVgPQm06g2c