“I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich …” (Revelation 3:18)
There are things we simply don’t want to naturally face. We don’t like them. They upset us. If we had our choice, things would be otherwise. They would be more to our liking and the way we think they should be. But like it or not, our lives are not in the habit of conforming to our pleasure. Life does not take into consideration what would make us happy. We can moan, mutter, and question “Why?” but it won’t make a difference: we cannot will our perfect world into existence.
And so, we are left with a choice: will we pass our days in a state of unhappiness because we refuse to accept “the way things are;” or, will we embrace our situation as a golden opportunity for spiritual growth? Jesus has good advice for every one of us: become rich through the fires you face. Our natural instinct is to pull away from fire. Fiery trials are the last thing we’re looking forward to. But God knows what we have need of, and He knows how to produce it.
Jesus has good advice for every one of us: become rich through the fires you face.
We need much more than natural strength to face our daily and recurring challenges. We need emotional and mental strength. The race we’re running is a long one. We become weary and faint in our minds. We don’t see how we’re going to be able to hold ourselves up much longer. We believe something’s got to give. But looking for change from the outside is a losing proposition and a recipe for greater despair and anger. The strength we really need is an internal, spiritual strength that not only upholds us but show us that we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us. God would enable us to run with patience the race that has been set before us, no matter how long it is, as we look to Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our faith.
We are so afraid of our weakness. But situations which reveal our weakness can also reveal to us God’s strength. He discovers our faithfulness in trials; but we also discover His. Experience teaches us that we indeed can be kept from falling. By the power of God we can run through a troop and leap over a wall. He can teach our hands to war, and our fingers to fight. He can become our strength, and make our way perfect. How though can He give us hinds’ feet if we don’t have any high places to climb? Where is our song of praise going to come from unless we have gone through the Red Sea?
Tribulation works patience; patience works experience; and experience works hope. This hope is a confident expectation that our loving God is with us, and for us, and in us, to help us be overcomers in this life. He has helped us before, He will help us again and again and again.
Are you in heaviness because of the season you’re in? Are you feeling weary and faint? Don’t give up; look up. God has a way of escape that you can endure the situation. But not in a “grin and bear it” way. No, He would give us an excitement that we are going to be growing; we’re not going to get bitter, we’re going to get better. Patience is having her perfect work and we are becoming perfect and entire and wanting nothing.
Godly happiness is the product of gaining spiritual gold.
We don’t will spiritual growth into existence. We don’t flip a switch and become like Jesus overnight. Like Him, we learn obedience through the things we suffer. We are made perfect through our sufferings. There is a cross to be picked up in each of our lives. There we come to know Jesus in the fellowship of His sufferings. There we are made conformable to His death. Without the cross there is no resurrection; without suffering there is no crown of glory; without pain there is no gain.
What is most important to you – worldly happiness or godly happiness? Godly happiness is the product of gaining spiritual gold. Jesus stands at the door and knocks. He wants involvement in your heart and life today. He comes with all you need to be strengthened and enriched. Don’t pine away for the life you want; embrace the life you have. Welcome into it the Savior who makes every bitter thing sweet.