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Faith, like gold, is precious, rare, beautiful, and valuable.  Faith, like gold, must be refined, tested, and purified. Refining gold and purifying it involves heat. When God allows “heat” in a Christian’s life, he is refining our faith and purifying our trust through the trial, loss, tragedy, or crisis. He is making it pure, rare, and more valuable. He is making it fireproof.

Having a fireproof faith can only happen through testing. How can an athlete know he has worked hard enough, trained long enough, and practiced well enough unless he is tested in competition? The Lord allows suffering to prove to us that our faith is true, it is real, and the God of creation will not fail. With each trial, true faith is becoming more precious, beautiful, and rare.

Christ followers know trials and tragedies will happen because Jesus said so. But, he said it with a promise: “‘Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world’” (John 16:33b). Therefore, I should not ask why the trial or suffering has come upon me, but what is God trying to teach me?”

1 Peter 4:19
So if you are suffering in a manner that pleases God, keep on doing what is right, and trust your lives to the God who created you, for he will never fail you. (emphasis mine)

Again, the question to ask is not why. The question to ask is what. What does God want you to receive and learn from in your trials? It may be an invitation to trust him, to trust the God of creation, who holds the world in his hands and who knit you together in your mother’s womb. The God who spoke truth to Job in Job’s questioning of why and reminded him with whom he was speaking.

Job 38: 18-21
18 Do you realize the extent of the earth? Tell me about it if you know! 19 “Where does light come from, and where does darkness go? 20 Can you take each to its home? Do you know how to get there? 21 But of course you know all this! For you were born before it was all created, and you are so very experienced!

God’s point seems to be to remind Job that he (God) is eternal and knows what he is doing, and Job shouldn’t question why God allowed this crushing series of tragedies in Job’s life. Interestingly, it was Satan who went before the throne of God and asked to test Job (Job 1:6-12). When bad things happen in our world, most people blame God. Job’s choices were to curse God or trust God. Job did not have to trust God. He could have listened to his friends, his wife, the naysayers, but Job chose to trust God. Satan had to slink away defeated. Job had chosen to love and trust God, even as he had lost everything in this world. This book of the Bible is a beautiful witness to who God is and what our choices are when suffering comes. Job chose to trust the God whose majesty is displayed for all to see. Job allowed these trials to refine his faith. Pure faith is a beautiful, valuable gift that only God’s hand can fireproof.

When have you felt the refiner’s fire through a trial?

What is your first response to suffering? Is it “Why, Lord?” or “What, Lord?”

Are your friends encouraging you to trust God or curse God?

Next Steps:
Think about the last time you suffered and reacted with little faith. Now, think about a time you had a trial and you responded with strong faith.

Did you ever think that Satan asked to test you, and your trust in God defeated the enemy? If you haven’t had a major trial, praise the Lord.  However, trials will come. Allow God to fireproof your faith through Bible study, prayer, sharing life in a small group, and observing God move in the lives of other Christians.

Heavenly Father, you are the lifter of my soul. You are amazing!  Everywhere I look, I see the works of your hands. Sometimes I am too busy to notice, but today I marvel at the beauty and majesty in your creation. The sun’s rays streaming down, the birds’ songs, the wind gently blowing the blades of grass. How beautiful and lovely! Thank you for creating me to witness your power and beauty in all you created. I know I can trust in you, for you made the storehouses of snow, the morning star, the moon, the expanse of sky, the orbit of the Earth. I praise you for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. All glory and honor to you!  Amen.

This post was written by Julie Roehl. Julie loves God’s Word and CedarCreek and is so very grateful for the love and grace of Jesus. She enjoys grammar, traveling, and tennis. She is married to John, and they are blessed with 7 children.

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