Proverbs 17:3 – “The refining pot is for silver and the furnace for gold, but the LORD tests hearts.” AMPLIFIED
I don’t even want to think about how many times in times of difficulty or testing I have asked that question, “Lord, what is going on?” I have heard the lament and complaints of people through the years in times of testing or difficulty asking that question, “Lord, what is going on?” One of our problems is that we like ease, and there is nothing wrong with ease as long as it is for a time of rest and refreshing. I wish that we could all live in ease at all times and not endure any attacks of the evil one or difficulties or times of testing in our lives but that is neither realistic or reasonable. I have just experienced a few days of relaxation and time with family away from technology and it was refreshing, but I never want to make the pursuit of ease my objective but refreshing in the Lord.
Remember the difficult words of James1:2-4, “My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, 3 knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. 4 But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.” The Amplified renders it this way, “Consider it nothing but joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you fall into various trials. 3 Be assured that the testing of your faith [through experience] produces endurance [leading to spiritual maturity, and inner peace]. 4 And let endurance have its perfect result and do a thorough work, so that you may be perfect and completely developed [in your faith], lacking nothing.” THEREFORE, why are we shocked when difficulties and tests come our way? Sometimes it is a lack of understanding the purpose and sometimes it is a false idea that if we are in God’s will there will be smooth sailing all the time. Both are problematic and correctable.
When I say understanding the purpose I do not mean specifically understanding the full purpose, blessing or benefit of a specific incident but understand why tests and difficulties come. James gives us vital revelation in that telling us that the trial, difficulty or test has a byproduct in our lives – ENDURANCE. Consider the word of our LORD in Matthew 24:13, “But he who endures to the end shall be saved.” Paul tells us in Hebrews 10:35, “Therefore do not cast away your confidence, which has great reward.” He also reminds us in Galatians 6:9, “And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.” In Hebrews 12:1 we are encouraged, “Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us…” Romans 5:3 speaks of the difficulties and trials of our faith and Paul tells us to “glory” in them because they produce perseverance, and perseverance produces character and character produce hope and hope does not disappoint because it is Hope in God!
James also encourages us with the knowledge that in enduring the tests of faith and difficulties we find patience developed and patience produces spiritual maturity and completeness in Christ. He then speaks out of the condition of our having been strengthened by those tests of life and difficulties and addresses the issue of “wisdom” and/or “knowledge” or how to handle the present. He says (my paraphrase), “If you don’t know how to handle this and need the wisdom and guidance of God through these difficult waters, ASK and God will grant you the wisdom you need.” Then he adds a caveat, but that asking cannot be flippant or overly casual it must be rooted in faith, without doubt, or double-mindedness. No, it is recognizing Who God is and Believe that He is Who He says He is and will do What He says He will do! If it is, as Jesus said in Luke 12:32 that it is the Father’s good pleasure, desire and will to “give us the kingdom” why do we have difficulty we believing He will give us the wisdom needed for the situation? Trust and Obey for there is no better and no other way to navigate the stormy seas of life.
God bless you as you embark on today’s journey in Jesus!