For you, O God, tested us: you refined us like silver. You brought us into prison and laid burdens on our backs. You let men ride over or heads; we went through fire and water, but you brought us to a place of abundance. Psalms 66:10-12
When faced with trials, Christians often compare their experiences to refining silver by fire. Numerous verses in the Bible refer to this idea, especially in the Old Testament. God allows us to discover and learn through our choices, so He allows unpleasant events to unfold. Why? We have free will. He doesn’t always step in and stop the bad experiences.
The key to this verse is the last part: we went through fire and water, but you brought us out to abundance.
The fire improves the silver, it refines it, making it more valuable. In the same way, hard times refine us making us stronger and more valuable. God may not cause these things, but He is willing to use them for good.
We know that all things work together for the good of those who love God: those who are called according to His purpose. Romans 8:28
God doesn’t cause everything that happens in our lives. If He did, we would be puppets, performing as He chooses. No, He allows us to experience the fire and grow stronger from it. Then, He leads us to help others as they experience something similar to our own trials.
When I created this blog, I entitled it The Workbench of Faith. Why? Because early in my public speaking ministry, I realized that all of the traumatic events in my life made me a stronger person. That God placed me on his workbench and let things occur in my life in order to mold me into who I am. I made the choices, but He gave me the support I needed through the church, the word, and other blessings as I struggled forward. I experienced none of these things alone. God was there for me. Yes, I could have ignored the support structures available, Satan’s playground abounds with people who choose to turn away. But even they can reach out at any time and choose to climb up on God’s workbench by opening up to Him.
So, what brought me to this place of increased faith? How have I gone through the fire?
Over the next weeks, I will select topics from “The List.” The List contains my difficult life events. I discovered early in my ministry that people related to me and learned more about developing their faith if I shared the dark parts of my life and how they led me to my own faith. I believe that this is what God expects me to do based on Romans 8:28. He’s called me to share my pains and show how they became paths to faith and joy.
I hope you will join me.