You have tested us, O God; you have purified us like silver melted in a crucible. (Psalms 66:10 NLT)
Life at times, even for a Christian, can seem difficult. Often, life’s burdens can feel too overwhelming to bear. In spite of this, trials have a refining effect on our lives, and in the end are always for our good.
Darlene Cunningham, the co-founder of Youth With A Mission, once stood gazing out over the wall that separated free and communist controlled Europe. She had heard of the suffering and persecution that believers in Christ were experiencing in Marxist controlled countries. She was safe, and warm, and well fed, but not so for her brothers and sisters on the other side of the wall. She cried out to God, “Where is your justice, Lord?” The Lord answered her. He said, no, you do not suffer like they do, but you do not know me like they do either. Salvation is free, but discipleship is costly. Discipline, God crossing our will with his, is always good for us and without it, we will never experience his holiness (Hebrews 12:10). Just as the dross rises to the top when silver is heated, so is our sin brought to the surface by the trials and tribulations of life. When it’s happening, discipline is not pleasurable, but in the end, it brings the peaceable fruit of righteousness (v. 11). God’s purpose in our suffering is always redemptive.
In our culture we have a quick-fix mentality that is pervasive even in our Christian faith. There is no shortcut to holiness. The pathway to imparted righteousness always goes through the crucible of life. The process is a lot easier if we accept rather than resist the goodness of God.
Image used with permission by Microsoft.
Ken Barnes the author of “The Chicken Farm and Other Sacred Places” YWAM Publishing