Is there any purpose in going through trials and hardships? That is a reasonable question, especially for people who are in the midst of adversity. The book of James 1:2-4 says this about trials; “Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have it full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” These verses make it clear that when we are tested and tried it produces character in us. I read a lovely story that I think helps to explain the purpose of trials.
Some women were doing a Bible study and came across the verse in Malachi 3:3 “He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver.” They were curious about the meaning of the verse and so one of the women offered to go and visit a silversmith to find out about the process of refining silver. That week she made an appointment to visit him at work. She didn’t mention her reason for the visit beyond her curiosity about the process of refining silver. She watched him working. He held a piece of silver over the fire and let it heat up. He explained that, in refining silver, one needed to hold the silver in the middle of the flames where they were the hottest – this gets rid of all the impurities.
The woman thought about the verse and God holding us in such a hot spot. She asked the silversmith if he had to sit there in front of the fire the entire time the silver was being refined. “Oh yes,” he replied. Not only did he have to sit there holding the silver, but he had to keep his eyes on the silver every second it was in the fire. If the silver was left even a moment too long in those flames it would be destroyed.
The woman asked the silversmith, “How do you know when the silver is fully refined? “He smiled and said, “When I see my image reflected in it.”
Take courage today, God is holding you in the middle of the heat. He will not leave you there one moment too long - He is looking to see His image reflected in you.
I am and always will be,
Recklessly abandoned, ruthlessly committed and in relentless pursuit of Jesus,