Pain, Purpose in Suffering?, Trust, Words of Endurance
Suffering Refines Our Faith
So be truly glad. There is wonderful joy ahead,
even though you have to endure many trials for a little while.
These trials will show that your faith is genuine.
It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold—
though your faith is far more precious than mere gold.
So when your faith remains strong through many trials,
it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day
when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world.
1 PETER 1:6-7
At first, Dave and I were able to suffer what I call “pretty.” In the early days of our cancer journey, we genuinely were able to say that our faith and trust in God were strong – we felt strong – we looked strong to those who knew us.
But when our pain went from days to weeks to months to years – it was then that our faith and trust began to waver. It was then that our own personal weaknesses started to rise to the surface. For Dave, it was anger and rage. For me, it was fear at the loss of control resulting in major panic attacks. It was not “pretty.”
Our faith was being refined by the fiery trial we were facing. The process of refining and purifying gold takes time and a great deal of heat. As the gold is heated the impurities rise to the surface. It is only then that the goldsmith is able to see the impurities and then remove them leaving a purer form of gold.
Through our refining process God tested our faith and exposed our weaknesses. Our weak and feeble faith was strengthened. We dealt with our exposed weaknesses and worked towards healing. During this time we read a book by Ron Lee Davis entitled “Gold in the Making.” We pray that you will be encouraged as we were by his words:
“For the Christian affliction is gold in the making.
If we will cooperate in the process, we will come forth as gold.
Why cooperate with God in being refined? Why continue to stand against the strong current of loss, heartache, stress, and pain?
Because it is in the hot forge of trials that true Christian character is shaped, hammered, tempered and matured.
It’s there that the life of Jesus Christ is given its maximum opportunity to become part of our very own life.
It’s there that our thin, fragile veneer of theology is replaced by a tough reliable hide of convictions that enables us to face and handle life instead of escaping it.”
May we all share the same unshakable conviction of Job …
But he knows where I am going.
And when he tests me,
I will come out as pure as gold.
On the journey with you,