Turning up the heat
Devotion In Motion
“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”
How you can tell when it’s going to be a rotten day:
You wake up face down on the pavement.
You call Suicide Prevention and they put you on hold.
You see a “60 Minutes” news team waiting in your office.
Your birthday cake collapses from the weight of the candles.
You turn on the news and they’re showing emergency routes out of the city.
Your twin sister forgot your birthday.
Your car horn goes off accidentally and remains stuck as you follow a group of Hell’s Angels on the freeway.
Your boss tells you not to bother to take off your coat.
The bird singing outside your window is a buzzard.
You wake up and your braces are locked together.
You call your answering service and they tell you it’s none of your business.
Your income tax check bounces.
You put both contact lenses in the same eye.
Your wife says, “Good morning, Bill”, and your name is George.
From the beginning Peter believed Jesus to be the Messiah, but his concept of what Messiah had come to do was transformed at Calvary’s cross. Yes, one day Messiah will reign in glory, but there’s a grieving that comes before the glory. The cross precedes the crown. Faith has to be tried in order to be refined.
When people go through hard times or difficult days, they sometimes say, “I don’t see anything good coming out of this trial.” Doesn’t the Bible say somewhere, “We see all things work together for good to those who love God”? No. It says, “We know all things work together for good” (see Romans 8:28). We may not see things working together for good at this moment or this week or this month or this year or even in our lifetime.
The Bible doesn’t say we will see it. The Bible says we know it. That’s what Peter is reminding the believers to whom he is writing. People who were going through some tough times. He says,
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
1 Peter 1:7
“I know you’re going through some pretty difficult days, with even tougher times coming your direction,” says Peter, “but you can choose to rejoice. Why? Because trials strengthen faith.”
In comparing faith to gold tried by fire, Peter reaches back to a statement made by a man who knew exactly what it meant to go through trials and difficulties, a man who lost everyone and everything, and went through such physical suffering that the scriptures say he scraped the sores from his body with a piece of pottery.
But He knows the way that I take;
When He has tested me, I shall come forth as gold.
. Job 23:10
In Bible times, when a man wanted to make something of fine gold, he would subject the ore to such intense heat that all of the impurities would be burned out. The goldsmith would know that the work was done when he could see the reflection of his own face in the liquefied gold. And believe me beloved, you are like precious gold. The refiner turns up the heat, melts the medal, picks out the impurities.
Which is also how God works in us. He turns up the heat of hardship – and melts our pride and self-sufficiency – and then God picks out the impurities.
The Lord says, “I’ve got big plans for you, huge plans. I’ve got plans not for this life only, but for eternity. Therefore, I may need to turn up the heat a bit to work out the impurities. But My hand is on the thermostat. I know exactly what I’m doing. Although at the present moment, it might not be easy, you’ll thank Me for the next billion years to come because what I’m after is to see the reflection of My face in your life.”
God doesn’t want to see His reflection in our lives because He’s on some sort of an ego trip, but because He knows that although we may not realize it, what we really want is to be like Him. Peter would write “Be Holy as the Lord is Holy” There are things in our lives that keep that from happening, so the way He deals with them is to turn up the heat a bit in order that we’ll come out of the fire stronger in faith and more like the Lord.
And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope. Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us Romans 5:3–5
When you finally understand this, you’ll find it a little easier to rejoice in difficulty rather than rebel, because you’ll see it as a purifying process that will work out wonderful things into your life. Tribulation works with patience. When you’re going through difficulty, there’s not a lot you can do other than wait for the master goldsmith to finish the process. Patience, in turn, works experience, as we learn that God truly knows what He’s doing. Experience works hope—the absolute expectation of coming good. Trust me the best is yet to come–we might not be able to see it but we don’t see the whole story, only part of it.
“For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known”. 1 cor 13:12 NKJV
Perhaps tonight you’re in the crucible of tribulation. The genuineness of your faith is being tested. Sure, you’ll serve God when He blesses, and when He makes you feel good. Who wouldn’t? But what happens in the heat of adversity? How genuine is your faith in the fire? How sincere is your commitment?
Remember The cross precedes the crown
“We are always on the anvil; by trials God is shaping us for higher things”
Henry Ward Beecher
Pastor Victor Tafoya
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