Friday, June 17, 2011

Refined

Disappointment. Heartache. Pain. Failure. Grief. Everything seems to be crashing down. One thing after another. Over and over and over... You can't seem to catch a break. Each day you wake up wondering "What else could go wrong?" He promised not to give you more than you can bear...but you begin to wonder just how strong He thinks you are. You say to the Lord, "What more can I handle?" You pray for relief. You pray for comfort. You pray for peace.

We consider ourselves "modern-day Job's." This is Job with a long "o" (pronounced "oh"). The biblical example of testing and perseverance. His name is literally translated "hated." Oh, I bet there were days he hated his life. I am sure there were moments he hated a lot of things.

And then there's the short "o" pronunciation for the word job (pronounced "ah"). Not the person but the thing we do. In Genesis man was cursed to "till" the ground, which translates to labor or work. It's our job. We're required to do it. And "job" is defined as a responsibility or duty, something we're expected to do.

When we read biblical facts that we will face trials in this life, or thorns are given to keep us humble, or we wrestle with warfare, it can only be understood that trouble is expected. But just as we persevere through the job of life, we can hold fast to the promise found in Job's life (23:10):

"When He has tested me, I shall come forth as gold."

We till the ground, we produce a crop. We work our jobs, we earn an income. We face trials and become refined.

You may hate your present circumstances. You may not see the plan. You may not understand the purpose. But be prepared; just as you face the testing of your faith, it is producing the fruit of your labor.

We go through tests that deliver results - a purification process of our thoughts, feelings, and inner strength. Until we come forth refined. Free from coarseness and impurity; cultivated and polished.

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