Thursday, October 17, 2019
Becoming Gold by SUSAN HARRIS
Gold is shiny and coveted, the most widely beloved of precious metals. It is in the proverbial pot at the end of the rainbow, and on the rings on our fingers.
These trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold—though your faith is far more precious than mere gold." (NLT)
Gold is chemically nonreactive, almost inert, and doesn’t want to bond with other elements.
In the times of suffering and discouragement our quality is tested, and we prove to God what metal we are made of. And if we will commit to being refined, to be malleable and flexible, willing to forego anger and surrender, then we’d be coming closer to the character of God. In so doing we will show that we can be trusted.
But many times we prefer to get offended, to give a person a “piece of your mind”, complaining and impatient. And that’s when the spiritual refining machinery gets stuck with acid fumes. That when the filtration units and reverse osmosis systems grinds to a stop.
Can I encourage you that the next time someone takes your place in the line, when hurdles come, be intentional that you will respond differently. Speak kindly to your child. Show respect to your spouse. Put yourself in the other person’s shoes.
You might be saying “Susan, you don’t know my spouse! You don’t know those members who live here. They squeeze the toothpaste from the top!”
And you are right. I don’t know them, and we have His and Hers bathrooms so there’s no toothpaste wars at our house. But we have one pantry and peanut butter has retained dirt and clogged my golden process. For years I fumed silently at the empty peanut butter jars on the shelf. Who puts back an empty jar on the shelf?
Last Christmas I gave my husband a jar of peanut butter, and I gave myself a jar as well. (Do you give yourself gifts?) I labelled the jars with our names, happy that I will now have peanut butter whenever I wanted. No more empty jars. No more frustrations. I’m going to be shiny bright!
Well, imagine the surprise on my husband’s face when he realized that I had resented not getting my share of peanut butter for seven years! He had no idea that I even liked peanut butter.
Suddenly the shiny was gone and I was face to face with my clod from the earth. All I had needed to do was to take 5 seconds and say “Hey, can you leave me some peanut butter?” But like the Israelites, I took years to get to the Promise Land.
God changed me in realizing that only HE knows my thoughts, my husband does not know my thoughts. And now I have my own carton of milk, my own cauliflower, my own helicopter...
Are there things that you let upset you time and time again? Do you keep the same conversations over and over in your head? Consider this – could it be that you are the one needing to be changed instead of the other person?
I have refined you, but not as silver is refined. Rather, I have refined you in the furnace of suffering.”
The furnace of suffering…this is way more than peanut butter or who goes first at the 4-way stop. This is years and years of sickness for me. This is level 10 pain that sent me unconsciousness three times.
God would not even let you be as silver. It’s gold, and nothing else. 1 Corinthians 3:12, 13 tells us “Anyone who builds on that foundation may use a variety of materials—gold, silver, jewels, wood, hay, or straw….”
Some of us are at straw level. We wake up angry at the pattern on the bedspread. My husband burns straw and stubble in the fields and it goes up in smoke in an instant. There’s no value in staying at straw level.
Some of us have wood refinement level – it’s sturdier, will take longer to burn. Some are other jewels and silver. The emerald in my ring was manufactured in a lab in Ottawa. Diamond can also be created in a lab. But God is not after emerald. He is after gold. You see friend, gold cannot be manufactured in a lab like diamond or emerald can be. No, true gold is not counterfeited.
Here’s a key truth: If we are praying and doing the right things and God is not removing the blockages, that may well mean that we must need them.
I pray in the name of Jesus that the joy in your spirit will strengthen your body for this hour, and the next, and the next. I pray God’s will for you in this time of testing, that you will be refined, and come through victorious.
Susan Harris is the host of ETERNITY on Access7 cable television in eastern SK. This blog is an excerpt from her message entitled "Becoming Gold". Find snippets, excepts and episodes on her YouTube channel at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCB30i05nvacFIJ1ciaQ0ClA
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