10 “But He knows the way that I take;
When He has tested me, I shall come forth as gold.
11 My foot has held fast to His steps;
I have kept His way and not turned aside.
12 I have not departed from the commandment of His lips;
I have treasured the words of His mouth
More than my necessary food.”
OBSERVATION: What effect does a prolonged trial have upon our faith? I don’t believe any of us will ever experience the depth of Job’s suffering. I believe that the path he walked was beyond anything we will ever have to face. Job’s suffering serves as a reminder to us to put our trials and suffering in perspective. Yet, we will all experience periods of prolonged trials in our life. How will our faith hold up? What will be the result in our lives at the end of the difficult journey?
Peter writes – “In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ…” (I Peter 1:6-7) Peter calls the believers of the Dispersion to put their difficulties in perspective and to remember the outcome of their faith. There is nothing that we will face in this life that can destroy us if we have faith in Jesus Christ. In fact, every difficulty, every trial, even prolonged times of suffering when it seems that the Lord is not near and our prayers are not being answered (read Job 23:8-9), will be turned to our benefit if we continue to trust in the Lord!
Job proclaims – “When He has tested me, I shall come forth as gold…” Peter proclaims – “…that the genuineness of your faith, begin much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ.” Paul reminds us in Romans 8:28 – “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, who are called according to His purpose.” And what is His purpose? It is to purify our lives, mold our heart, and transform our character into the image of Jesus Christ. The call to Christ is not a call to escape the difficulties of life. The call to Christ is a call to embrace them as opportunities to learn and be transformed by His Grace through our faith!
How do we do this? Job proclaimed – “I have not departed from the commandment of His lips; I have treasured the words of His mouth, more than my necessary food.” The pathway of life, the light through the darkness of the valley we may find ourselves in, is the Word of God! When difficulty arises we should not draw back from God’s Word – we should press into it. When we are hungry, when our souls are parched and dry, it is not a time to retreat – it is a time to run toward the One who imparts life through His Word. Job said he loved God’s Word – “,,,more than necessary food.” This runs counter to our human nature. Our human nature is to do anything that will immediately remove us from the time of trial. God’s answer is that we fall to our knees, call upon His name, seek His truth, and wait upon the Holy Spirit to lead and guide us through His Word of Life! We can choose the world’s shortcuts – or God’s pathway! The world’s shortcuts will only lead to loss and greater suffering. God’s pathway will always lead to life and transformation!
Lord, help me to hunger for Your Word more than my necessary food, more than my personal comfort, and more than the shortcuts that promise a “quick fix”. Keep me from presumptuous sins and grant me the Grace to wait upon You in difficult times. Let the the genuineness of my faith be tried and purified in the fire so that I might come forth like true gold – being transformed into the image and character of my Lord Jesus Christ! In Jesus Name!