When He has tried me, I shall come forth as gold.
A. W. Tozer wrote, “It is doubtful whether God can bless a man greatly until He has hurt him deeply.” Search through Scripture and you will discover that the men and women God has used in the most significant ways are those who went through the greatest trials, the severest tests.
Consider the story of Abraham. God had promised Abraham that he would be the father of a great nation, yet for years there was no sign of God’s answer to that promise: a child. Finally, when Abraham was a hundred, Genesis 21:2-3 says, “Sarah conceived and bore a son to Abraham in his old age. . . . Abraham called the name of his son who was born to him, whom Sarah bore to him, Isaac.” Here at last was the child of promise, the child they had been waiting for for decades. Little did they know in that moment of contentment that the greatest test of their lives was just around the corner.
Genesis 22:1 says, “It came about after these things, that God tested Abraham.” Why would God test Abraham? Hadn’t he proven his faithfulness? For that matter, why would God test you and me?
Old Testament biographer F. B. Meyer wrote, “Satan tempts us that he may bring out the evil that is in our hearts, but God tries or tests us that He may bring out all the good. . . . Trials are therefore God’s vote of confidence in us.” When you go through a difficult time, God can use this hardship in your life to strengthen your reliance upon Him, to give you opportunities to see His miraculous hand providing for you. But Satan is also at work. He is trying to use this hardship to cause you to doubt the goodness and the wisdom of God.
We see this illustrated in Job’s life. Job, in a period of hours, lost everything important to him. He lost his possessions. He lost all his children. He lost his health. Satan was tempting Job to curse God and to die, but God was using these trials to test Job’s faith, to strengthen him. That is why Job said, “When He has tried me, I shall come forth as gold” (Job 23:10).
The same thing is true in your life. Perhaps you are going through a trial that came out of nowhere. If you use this trial as an excuse to move away from God, it will become a temptation that destroys your faith. But if you allow this trial in your life to strengthen your reliance upon God, then it is a test that is used for your good.
Today’s devotion is excerpted from “Saying Yes To The Impossible”” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2009.
A. W. Tozer, “The Root of the Righteous” (Chicago: Moody, 2015), 165; F. B. Meyer, “The Life of Abraham,” ed. Lance Wubbels (Lynnwood, WA: Emerald, 1996), 159-60.
Scripture quotations taken from the (NASB®) New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1971, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission. All rights reserved. www.lockman.org