It’s one of my favorite songs…but it’s also a reality in life. For those of you who are Christians yourselves you might be familiar with a verse in Revelation which quotes “I counsel you to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that you may be rich…” Do we understand what it means?
“Gold tried in the fire” I don’t believe this is literal. In Isaiah 48:10 God says “Behold, I have refined thee…I have chosen thee in the furnace of affliction.” In Malachi 3:3 the Bible says “And He shall sit as a refiner…and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the Lord an offering in righteousness.” Malachi 3:2 states “For He is like a refiner’s fire…”
We are the metal, trials are the fire. In Job chapter 23 Job says “when he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold.” Gold. We can become as pure gold! Sure, it’s no easy road–but I’d say it’s worth it!
“When trials surround us, when struggles come
The spirit grows weak, the body grows numb
When these things beset us He doesn’t forget us…
He sends down His love on the wings of a dove!”
I love that song as well! 🙂 How many times have we felt forgotten? How many times have we wondered if life is even worth it? Here’s a lesson I recently learned…”To look to God is to find joy!”
Here’s what I mean…We’ve all been through trials-some more than others. I’ve been through my share and you’ve been through yours. While we live on this earth we’ll continue to go through these fiery trials to perfect our faith. Yet when we learn that we are not alone it is a lot easier, at least in my experience, to continue on! I’ll share a couple things that help me in case you’re struggling with something right now and I’ll promise to keep you in prayer as an anonymous reader of my blog!
I’ve tried different music genres (like the kind that numbs your mind), reading story after story and then fantasizing about how those stories could continue after the pages of the book end (so much that I had a foggy sense of reality), and I’ve tried just ignoring it and trying to go on with life (hahaha-not! It never really worked that way). None of that really worked–but prayer always does!
Prayer. It sounds simple-but in my experience it works! Not the kind that says “Dear Lord, I’m angry. Make my life better. Amen.” (yes, God does sometimes answer that kind of prayer in His love and mercy) but the kind that says “Father, I’m having a really hard day and I can’t handle it without you! Please replace the anger in my heart with your peace-you’ve promised to send peace that passes understanding and I claim that promise. Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer! Amen.” I’ve discovered that if I really talk to God as I would to a friend (or more like a father) I enjoy and yes, look forward to my time with Him! I’ve learned to simply tell Him about my day–how hard or easy it was, if I’m happy or sad, and then share with Him the burdens which I have on my heart. I ask Him to bless my friends, to heal those who I have come in contact with that I know are suffering, and to bless the readers of my blog (yes, you! 🙂 ).
The other two things which work for me are listening to uplifting music and my favorite sermons (these often bring me to my knees, somehow). There is one sermon which is really encouraging to me and I often listen to it when I am down. (You can listen to it here: God Doesn’t Waste Our Pain Pt.2 I have heard part 1, and you can listen to that on the same website, but somehow I liked pt. 2 better…) Christian goes through the story of Job and how he began to feel abandoned by God and how he was being judged by his friends because of different trials that he was going through. He shares how trials can mean a lot of different things and they’re certainly not always punishment from God! The music part is fairly well covered in other posts, but I’ll say here that I love to listen to “The Narrow Way” and “My Prayer” when I’m discouraged. I trust that as we look back on our life when we’re in heaven we’ll be able to confidently say “Heaven is cheap enough”!
Remember, my friends, I’m praying for you, God loves you and He won’t waste our pain!
“There burns a fire with sacred heat
White hot with holy flame
And all who dare pass through its blaze
Will not emerge the same
Some as bronze, and some as silver
Some as gold, then with great skill
All are hammered by their sufferings
On the anvil of His will
The Refiner’s fire
Has now become my soul’s desire
Purged and cleansed and purified
That the Lord be glorified
He is consuming my soul
Refining me, making me whole
No matter what I may lose
I choose the Refiner’s fire
I’m learning now to trust His touch
To crave the fire’s embrace
For though my past with sin was etched
His mercies did erase
Each time His purging cleanses deeper
I’m not sure that I’ll survive
Yet the strength in growing weaker
Keeps my hungry soul alive”