Proverbs 17:3 The crucible for silver and the furnace for gold, but the Lord tests the heart.
Where are we? Where are we going? And, how do we get there? Isn’t God good to use testing to show us! Has the thought crossed your mind that testing is vital to our destiny and is a priceless blessing? It’s a good thing that it is, because there’s a limitless supply of testing for each of us!
No matter what situations we find ourselves in, God is in the midst of them working in our lives; revealing who we are and where we are in our walk with Him. Testing highlights our strengths and weaknesses; it shows how far we’ve come and how far we have to go. It’s like a spiritual GPS – it lets us know where we are. Fortunately, the Holy Spirit and God’s Word, are the components that give understanding to the ‘where we are’ piece, but more importantly they are also the components that let us know where we are supposed to be going and how to get there.
Think about that. This process applies to every area and aspect of our lives: our thoughts, habits, idiosyncrasies, mannerisms, attitudes, interactions, etc… God wants to transform every area of our lives to be like Jesus. This applies to absolutely everything about us – without any exemptions. And God uses all circumstances for testing, not just the difficult times.
How do we respond when things are going well? How do we respond to praise and success? Do we have a tendency to become less dependent upon the Lord in such times? Do we walk in humility and grace; or do we become proud of what ‘we’ have accomplished?
When things become difficult, do we blame or question God? Do we become anxious and stressed out? Do our lives demonstrate that we are genuinely trusting God? Are we kind and considerate no matter what happens?
Fortunately, God works with us in everything. No matter where we find ourselves with regard to any aspect of our lives, He has a redemptive path for us. Do we need to repent – or are we affirmed because we responded righteously to the situation? If we responded well, could we have done better? Do we then glorify Him by properly responding to what the ‘testing’ has shown us about ourselves?
It’s so important that we remember that we are not our own. We belong to Him and He wants us to be demonstrations of His love and grace. Just as the crucible and furnace are used to purify silver and gold, God uses the testing to purity us – so that we might glorify Him.