“In this world you will have trouble. But take heart, I have overcome the world.”- John 16:33
Comforting right? We are guaranteed trouble. I don’t know about you, but I would like to take a little less suffering and a little more comfortability, happiness, and ease. I would like to not hurt, please. I would rather not feel the sting of harsh words or feel the pain of betrayal and rejection. I would rather not deal with broken relationships, if at all possible. While it is so encouraging to know Jesus has overcome the world we face, sometimes it is so incredibly, painfully difficult to look past the trouble.
Let me tell you, and wish all I might, I have faced all sorts of trouble. However, as I am going through a devotional study titled Lord, Heal my Hurts, I stumbled across a passage that finally brought some encouragement and purpose to all of the troubles I have been facing. I would like to share it in the hopes it can bring some encouragement to you as well:
Suffering and glory go together. You can’t have one without the other. Thus, God likens our suffering to the purifying of silver and gold.—Silver and gold need to be refined before they reveal their beauty. So do we! The process of refining includes melting down of the metal by fires designed not to destroy the metal, but to bring forth its beauty.
The Silver is crushed into small pieces and placed into a crucible. The silversmith places the crucible over the fire that has been prepared to just the right degree of heat, and then he watches carefully as the silver melts. Eventually, impurities will rise to the top of the crucible. These are scraped off carefully by the silversmith. Then an even hotter fire is built. Once again the silver is subjected by heat. Now, under this new intensity of fire, more and different impurities are released. The silversmith never leaves the silver unattended in the fire, lest the silver be damaged by too much heat. Each time the fire is increased and impurities are removed, the silversmith bends over the crucible to look at himself in the melted silver. At first his image is dim…his face barely discernible. However, with each new fire his image becomes more distinct. When he finally sees himself clearly, he knows all the impurities are gone. The refining is complete.” (Kay Arthur)
Sometimes, it may feel like God is being anything but careful or watchful with us. We wonder, how and why in the world God would ever allow such things to happen to us. I’ll be the first to admit that I have felt abandoned in the heat. But the answer to “why” is that he is conforming us to look like Jesus. He is making us beautiful. He is bringing us back to our restored identity. While we may question our silversmith and exclaim “that hurts!” “Why are you doing that!?” We can trust that his ways are not our ways and that he has just the right degree of heat and watches carefully over us in midst of the fire.