Have you ever felt the heat of trial? I am sure you have. For me, it can show up in the pressure of an anxious heart when things are not going as I expected. I tend to respond to trial by wrestling with them internally. I think about them, get frustrated with them and try to force them to fit my will. Instead, I need to remember that God can use them to reveal my imperfections. When I see my lack of faith, lack of trust or worry, I need to confess that to God so He can remove it from me and make me better. That is why Proverbs 17:3 hit me today. It says,
“Fire tests the purity of silver and gold, but the LORD tests the heart.”
As intense heat is used to surface imperfection in metal so that it can be removed, so too the heart. Trials are not there to make us miserable but to show us what is within us. When imperfections are brought to the surface, God can remove then as I confess my sin to Him. Tests have a purpose–to make me better!
Notice what the NET Bible says about this verse,
“When the LORD ‘tests’ human hearts, the test, whatever form it takes, is designed to improve the value of the one being tested.”
As a result, testing can improve us, purify us and mature us if we respond correctly. Tremper Longman notes,
“Since the crucible does not only expose but also gets rid of dross, the implication may be that he not only evaluates hearts in this way but also helps people get rid of their sin.”
Father, thank you for the reminder the trials and difficulties can be welcomed since they surface my imperfections and because you can remove them from me as I ask you to do so. Instead of fighting them and complaining, I must remember that you use them to show me where I still do not trust you and try to handle things myself. Instead, I should discuss my anxious heart with you. I need to believe in you and your promises instead of trying to fix everything myself. Use the trials in my life to purify me. Through them, make me more like Jesus and more usable for your Kingdom.