As believers we are blessed to live a life of hope and peace that DOES pass all understanding. Philippians 4:7 And the peace of God which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. That peace and hope will many times be tested and that testing helps us now and in the future as God is developing our faith and sanctifying our hearts. That testing is something that I many times question and struggle with to the point of letting it get me down or allowing it to be a distraction to my walk of faith. Of course, then I wake up and see that God’s hand is preparing me for a task or ministry where a stronger faith and perseverance will be required. In the middle of the testing it is tough and at times distressing, but if I can get a glimpse of what is beyond the test, it gives me strength to allow the result of that test to be good and affirming. I’m not saying that I handle all of the tests in my life with great strength and understanding because I don’t. But if I can see God’s Hand in the testing a sense of true peace will come over me that helps me wade through it and get to where God is leading me. James 1:2-4 Consider it pure joy, my brothers,whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.
In the second Indiana Jones movie, Indiana and half pint, a boy tagging along for the adventure, had gotten stuck in a room that was sealed and the ceiling was dropping from above, so as to crush them. A trip lever had been stepped on putting the whole thing in motion and it was not looking good. For just a split second though, the doorway out was open and Indiana got caught between staying and helping his young friend or getting out. He stayed and now they were stuck. What to do? Fortunately,there was a mechanism through the wall, that when tripped would stop the ceiling from coming down and open the escape door. His female companion, who had made it out, stuck her hand into an insect infested hole in the wall and tripped the safety switch to allow them to get out. Saved!! Whoo Hoo! What a test! They had to react quickly to their tough situation, but they DID react properly and they were saved.
As you go through your many tests in life allow God to develop your faith by trusting Him, seeking His will, learning to think on your feet, and looking for that better day ahead. Proverbs 3:5-6 says, “Trust the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways, acknowledge Him and He will make your path straight.” On the pathway of life we really don’t know the way without God’s direction. So God gives us tests along the way so we will be able to handle things further down the path. Just keep in mind that God’s tests are for our good and they grow us closer to Him. The tricks of satan are for our bad and his plan is for us to stop and quit. Stay on God’s path, even when things seem so desperate and there is no hope. If you will look up to Him He will give you a glimpse of a better day and His blessings will start to be seen and experienced. It’s like the heating of gold. Gold heats at approximately 1063 degrees, but getting to that temperature burns other impurities out of the gold itself until it is pure. A crucible is a melting pot used to hold the gold when it is being heated. The crucible has to be able to handle the heat or it will melt along with the gold and the process will be spilled gold, impure gold. God has formed each of us to be a crucible, by giving us the Holy Spirit and enabling us to handle the extreme heat while our faith is being purified. At the end of each process what used to be compromised, impure gold, is now pure in form and the crucible still holds it without cracking or splitting. The pure gold is the end result of the heat, but the crucible is the vessel that must stand the heat in the process. With the Holy Spirit in our life we are able to be the crucible God needs us to be to allow the purification process to be complete. The Lord is the one who keeps our crucible or vessel from cracking under pressure. It doesn’t mean we won’t feel the heat. It does mean the heat will not overcome the cricible’s ability to hold the gold. Faith refined by fire is lasting faith. 1 Peter 1:6-7 says, “In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that your faith-of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire-may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.”
What kind of crucible are you? I hope I am the kind of crucible, or vessel, that through the power of the Holy Spirit will continue to trust God when the heat is turned up. 2 Timothy 2:21 says, “Therefore, if anyone cleanses himself from these things, he will be a vessel (crucible) for honor, sanctified, useful to the Master, prepared for every good work.
I want to be that kind of crucible. Don’t you?
The Pilgrimage continues…..