Scripture: Proverbs 17 (focus on 3)
Observation: Just as fire tests the strength of silver and gold, the Lord tests our hearts. This refining process makes us stronger.
Application: Raise your hand if you want a few more problems in your life. I’m assuming there are ZERO HANDS raised, mine included. I’ve got enough problems right now – from listening to my son whine incessantly for more puffs (all. the. time.) to some bigger ones, like trying to save up for and put an offer down on a house.
I’ve always assumed problems and overall nuisances in life are things to endure so I can keep on living my life. But, I’ve come to realize that there is a purpose in our problems, a refining and a sharpening essential to our growth.
“Fire tests the purity of silver and gold, but the Lord tests the heart.” (v. 3)
When we suffer, when we persevere and endure, we are becoming more like the God we serve.
“You have tested us, O God, you have purified us like silver.” (Psalm 66:10)
When we look at the life of Jesus, we see someone who suffered tremendously – but it was through his suffering that we were saved.
In our problems, we find true purpose.
“…when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow.” (James 1:2-3)
This week, let’s do some reframing. How can you see your problem as part of your purpose? What does God have for you in this suffering season?
Prayer: God, there is pain in suffering – but there is also purpose. I pray for eyes to see the purpose in the midst of my pain. I pray you’ll give me an eternal perspective, instead of just a temporary one. Amen.