He knows the way that I take; when he has tested me, I will come forth as gold. Job 23:10
At first glance, the verse above can make you a little nervous...and by all rights it should. Just to know that every step of our journey is laid out before God can be unnerving. There is no place I have gone nor any thought that I have held in my head that He is not aware of. Even the deepest desires of my soul are known to Him.
I started taking a closer look at the second half of that verse this morning. It's an obvious reference to the process that gold goes through as it is refined. This process, with tremendous heat and stress, causes the gold to come out in a purer form. It's the end result that makes the process worth while.
But it's a comfort to me to know that I am in the hands of an expert. You see, any time you and I are willing to let God test or refine us, He has promised not only to bring us through that fire but to guarantee that the end result is a purer "product." My tests and trials are God's way of knocking the "me" out of me and revealing His presence in my life. God is an expert at such matters. He knows what I can handle; He knows the limits that I can withstand. That's why the story of Job is such a fascinating one. If you haven't read it in a while, do so. You'll be reminded that God is always up to something in our lives, even if it appears to be behind the scenes. I don't usually like church signs very much...at least as far as the theology behind them is concerned. But this one I saw last week made pretty good sense:
When Satan tries us, he attempts to bring out the worst in us. When God tries us, He attempts to bring out the best.