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 Issue #97 Mon, 18 Sep 2006

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seeker of truth

Female Number of posts : 2309
Age : 26
Real Name : Alyssa
Location : Eastern USA
Registration date : 2006-12-17

PostSubject: Issue #97 Mon, 18 Sep 2006   March 12th 2007, 00:19

More Precious Than Gold

Dear Youth,

What would you consider as being more precious than gold? Most likely each of you thought of something different that you would consider more precious than gold. Perhaps your parents, your brother, your sister, your dog, your Bible, your brain, or perhaps you considered more intangible things such as your education, your personality etc. But, how many of you would ever consider trials as being more precious than gold? "That the trial of your faith, being MUCH more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ." (1 Peter 1:7)

Trials may not be pleasant experiences to go through, but they are indispensable elements in the purifying and refining process. The Bible writers can identify with our feelings of discomfort during trials. "Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby." (Hebrews 12:11) "A refining, purifying process is going on among the people of God, and the Lord of hosts has set His hand to this work. This process is most trying to the soul, but it is necessary in order that defilement may be removed. Trials are essential in order that we may be brought close to our heavenly Father, in submission to his will, that we may offer unto the Lord an offering in righteousness." (Review & Herald, April 10, 1894)

"By God's mighty cleaver of truth we have been taken from the quarry of the world and brought into the workshop of the Lord to be prepared for a place in his temple. In this work the hammer and chisel must act their part, and then comes the polishing. Rebel not under this process of grace. You may be a rough stone, on which much work must be done before you are prepared for the place God designs you to fill." (Review & Herald, June 20, 1907) Christ uses trials in order that our characters may shine more and more, so that we can be shining gems for Him! The refining process is painful and distressing at the time, but in the end it will become the very means of ensuring our salvation. "For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory." (2 Corinthians 4:17)

Trials are not fun! So many times we can't see the light at the end of the tunnel. The trials just seem to swallow us up! However, we can find hope and comfort with the thought that: "The fire will not consume us, but only remove the dross, and we shall come forth seven times purified, bearing the impress of the Divine." (My Life Today, p. 92)

When a butterfly is hatching out of its cocoon, it must go through a very intense, and severe struggle to free itself from the protecting case. But, it is this struggle which enables the butterfly to fly! When Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego were cast into the fiery furnace, they were bound. When the king looked back into the furnace, he saw four men loose, walking around unharmed! It was the flames of the burning furnace that set the three Hebrew's free!

Often the questions are asked: "Why do bad things happen to good people?" And: "Is God angry with me, is that why I've been so afflicted?" Firstly we are told that "The very fact that we are called upon to endure trials proves that the Lord Jesus sees in us something very precious that He would have developed. If He saw nothing in us whereby we might glorify His name He would not spend time refining us. . . .Be trustful, hopeful, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. He loves you. Hear His words: 'As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten.' He has not passed you by as unworthy of a trial." (That I May Know Him, p. 277)

We are also told that "We must not look on trial as punishment." (Ibid.) We serve a very benevolent God who is only interested in our well-being and salvation! Trials are a blessing, not a punishment! Of course, we may have to suffer some consequences from our actions, but God will never send trials as a means of punishing us.

Always remember, young people, as you continue to face trials throughout your life that "The axe, the hammer, and the chisel of trial are in the hands of One who is skilful; they are used, not to destroy, but to work out the perfection of every soul." "And be assured that he will not strike one useless blow." (Testimonies for the Church, vol. 6, p. 363 & Review & Herald, June 20, 1907) Also find comfort in the fact that "Every trial is weighed and measured by the Lord Jesus Christ." (Manuscript 12, p. 81) "There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way of escape that ye may be able to bear it." (1 Corinthians 10:13)

Peter tells us: "Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you." (1 Peter 4:12) Young people, expect the sea billows to roll in your life! Expect trials and tribulations to come your way! But when amidst the furnace of trial and temptation, NEVER forget the "way of escape." "Submit yourselves therefore to God." (James 4:7) This "escape", friends, is in surrender to Christ! Once surrender to Christ happens, victory is surely ours!

"But He knoweth the way that I take: when He hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold." (Job 23:10)

--Stephanie Fox

PLEASE NOTE: All Bible verses are taken from the King James Version, unless stated otherwise.
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