‘The crucible for silver and the furnace for gold, but the Lord tests the heart.’ Proverbs 17.3
To be honest this sounds a bit painful! Writing about God testing our hearts in the same sentence as gold in a fiery furnace probably leaves us wondering if there is another way in which God can test us. In any case do we have to be tested at all? There are two comments to make about this.
The first is that deep down we want to be changed! We are all probably well aware of things within us that we would love to be different, whether they are attitudes we wish we could shrug off or failings we would like to overcome. However, the testing that God brings is not like an exam that we know full well we are going to fail; it is the testing that purifies gold or silver to make it even more beautiful and pure than it is already. The testing of God is not to judge us, but to save, transform and change us in to the person we would really like to become.
The second point about this is that God transforms us because we are precious to him and to those around us. When you next feel aware of some area of your life that you suspect God wants to touch, rather than groaning or feeling guilty, a good reaction is to give thanks. Be thankful that you are so precious that God delights in lifting you out of the mud and setting you on higher ground.
Take a moment to stand before God and really believe that you are this precious to him.
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The Revd John Ryeland, Director of The Christian Healing Mission
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