“For you, O God, have tested us; you have tried us as silver is tried.” vs. 10
As the Israelites reviewed the stories of their ancestors they had a particular fondness for recounting the tough times…and there were plenty of such tales to tell. As a people they had gone through so much. Often their very survival had been threatened. What’s interesting is that, while they see the guiding hand of God in their history, they don’t blame God for the tough times. Instead they have come to see those trying times as necessary testing. This was how God had refined their nation and given it resilience, and so they gave God thanks and praise. Some folks don’t like to imagine that God purposely exposes us to hardship and deprivation…they prefer thinking that God is always protective and generous. They say that the testing must come from the devil. But others are in full agreement with the psalmist and point to their own lives as a testimony. They say that trial by the refiner’s fire brought them strength and an enhanced appreciation for God’s blessings. Of course, no one enjoys the moments of testing. Only in retrospect can we actually see the benefits…but that was true for Israel too. They did plenty of complaining along the way. And so do we. It’s here that our faith kicks in. Simple trust, knowing that God does love us and is ultimately in control, allows us to endure and persevere in every time of trial.
Thought for the Day: How have I experienced the refiner’s fire?