“But He knows the way that I take; when He has tested me, I will come forth as gold.” – Job 23:10
Job knew and understood that God was aware of his every word, thought and deed. Though he knew he was being tested, Job understood that what would remain of him, that which had come through the refining fire of his faith, would be a walk that was pure and valued by God. He pressed on with endurance to receive the prize.
So often in the middle of struggle, challenge, or trial, I first wonder when it will all be done. Eventually, in the midst of the messes, I think of Job and how even after he lost everything and everyone whom he loved most in life, he chose to praise Him. By comparison, my trials are trivial. Not to say that my pain is not painful, nor my struggles not sincere, but our God – the very same God who ultimately restored to Job that which had been lost and more – is with us and has promised to never leave us. Whether our restoration is received here or in heaven, it is soon, when viewed through an eternal lens.
We have an advantage that Job did not yet have. Jesus died in our place, rose from the dead, ascended into heaven, and sent His Spirit to dwell in us, to be our Counselor and Comforter for the here and now. Our hearts and hands are held by Him, and He is faithful to whisper His loving words in our weakness. He supplies strength and faith and friends to walk beside us, to make His hands and heart tangible in our trials.
May our times of testing produce perseverance as we press on to the promise before us.
Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that times of trial are not for the sake of suffering, but instead, are opportunities for You to refine in us a heart that is pure in our pursuit of You. Forgive us for faltering in the fire, and forge in each of us, an unwavering faith in You. Firmly establish our footing in You, Father, so that we will stand strong in You as the storms rage. Teach us to be ever aware of both our need for You, and Your nearness – be it in blessing or in battle. May our trust in You turn hearts and heads to hear of Your goodness and grace. Amen.