He shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver: and he shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the Lord an offering in righteousness. Malachi 3:3.
The refining process is hard for human nature to endure; but only by it can the dross be purged from the character. In the furnace of trial we are purified from the dross that prevents us from reflecting the image of Christ. God measures every trial; He watches the furnace fire that must test every soul.
Through trial God leads His children to perfect trust. “In the world ye shall have tribulation,” Christ says; “but in Me ye shall have peace.” It is through much tribulation, that we are to enter the kingdom of God....
No cross, no crown. How can we be strong in the Lord without trial? To have physical strength, we must have exercise. To have strong faith, we must be placed in circumstances where our faith will be tried. Every temptation resisted, every trial bravely borne, gives us a new experience, and advances us in the work of character building. Our Saviour was tried in every way, yet He triumphed in God constantly. It is our privilege under all circumstances to be strong in the strength of God, and to glory in the cross of Christ.
Through affliction God reveals to us the plague spots in our characters, that by His grace we may overcome our faults. Unknown chapters in regard to ourselves are opened to us, and the test comes, whether we will accept the reproof and the counsel of God. When brought into trial, we are not to fret and worry. We should not rebel, or worry ourselves out of the hand of Christ. We are to humble the soul before God.
The ways of the Lord are obscure to him who desires to see things in a light pleasing to himself. They appear dark and joyless to our human nature. But God's ways are ways of mercy and the end is salvation.
Elijah knew not what he was doing when in the desert he said that he had had enough of life, and prayed that he might die. The Lord in His mercy did not take him at His word. There was yet a great work for Elijah to do; and when his work was done, he was not to perish in discouragement and solitude in the wilderness. Not for him the descent into the dust of earth, but the ascent in glory, with the convoy of celestial chariots to the throne on high....
“Happy is the man whom God correcteth.... He maketh sore, and bindeth up; he woundeth, and his hands make whole.” ... To every stricken one, Jesus comes with the ministry of healing. The life of bereavement, pain, and suffering may be brightened by precious revealings of His presence.—The Signs of the Times, February 5, 1902.
From Reflecting Christ - Page 349
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