“For Thou hast tried us, O God; Thou hast refined us as silver is refined … Yet Thou didst bring us out into a place of abundance.” Ps. 66:10 & 12, NASB
God presses us … pains us … purifies us.
Remember those cool coloring books with the invisible pen? I used to love those as a child—pushing my marker across pages and watching images magically appear. Traveling in the car equaled fun when my sister and I could complete an entirely new storybook. Interestingly, God uses trials in a similar way. By applying pressure and causing pain, He often exposes hidden sins we otherwise might never see. Unlike my coloring experiences, however, trials are anything but fun.
Just the other morning, I pondered an image of particles rising—like dross that ascends and collects when silver is purified. Junk no one can see in silver’s solid state increasingly appears as the heat melts metal. What a fabulous illustration of junk in my heart that trials expose.
Faithfully God has brought me through significant trials the past several years. Money issues, church issues, family issues—each one has involved sorrow. Ouch, ouch, and more ouch! Trials hurt. But among His amazing multi-faceted purpose for each test, God incredibly has used those heart wrenching times to reveal sin issues hidden within. Retrospectively, I’m awed by the way the Lord skillfully purified me and brought me into a place of abundance.
I’m so much better off having undergone trials. Wisely, the Lord afflicted me so I can bear Christ’s image more accurately. Since Jesus is perfect, the sin in me has to go. Little by little, God works on me. Infinitely compassionate and merciful, He tests me for my good and His glory.
“It is good for me that I was afflicted, That I may learn Thy statutes.” Ps. 119:71
I’m thankful for the trials. While they don’t necessarily result from my sin, God can use them to reveal certain sins.
Dear friend, as you walk through whatever trial God has sovereignly wrought in your life, please be encouraged. He knows exactly what He’s doing. He possesses a perfect plan, part of which might involve unmasking sins that otherwise might remain hidden deep inside—just as the invisible pen revealed unseen shapes in my childhood books.
“Search me, O God, and know my heart; Try me and know my anxious thoughts; And see if there be any hurtful way in me, And lead me in the everlasting way.” Ps. 139:23-24
Gently, meticulously, our tender Father purifies usinto more beautiful reflections of Christ. When He shows us unknown sins, let’s release them. Confess them. Be forgiven and cleansed!
Nothing compares to the joy and satisfaction of coming through the fire into that place of abundance.