But he knoweth the way that I take: when he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold.–Job 23:10
It’s a well-known fact that many people have become successful by compensating for personality or physical flaws. Winston Churchill, for example, stuttered as a youth yet became a great orator. Glenn Cunningham was so badly burned as a boy it was thought he would never walk again. He became, however, one of the world’s great milers. George Bernard Shaw was so painfully shy that he found it difficult to talk with anyone. But Shaw forced himself to join organizations where he would have to speak before audiences. In each of these situations, it was the fiery trials that brought out the best in the person.
As Job looked at the tests that God allowed in his life, he did not despair. Instead, he saw them as the instruments that would be used to bring about good. He knew that as the heat of a fiery furnace was needed to remove the dross from precious metal, so it took the cleansing flames of affliction to remove thoroughly the impurities from his life. He was confident that he would come forth not as a burned-up cinder but as a nugget of purest gold.
God is not in the demolition business, but He does run a refinery. His purpose is not to destroy but to purify. The burning difficulties that test us are designed to remove the dregs that hinder us from serving Him with clean hands and a pure heart. He seeks not to ruin us but to increase our value. His desire is to separate from us anything that would detract from our worth and make us ever more useful in service to Him.
If you are in the fiery furnace of affliction, take heart. God’s hand is on the thermostat. He will allow the heat to do no more than remove the impurities. As you go in mixed with the dregs of this world, you will come forth pure and refined.——By Woodrow Kroll