The Painful Process of Purification

A few days ago, I blogged about a big problem that I struggle with:  Trust.  I kept coming back to it all week, thinking about it, praying about it, chewing on it, talking about it.  In conversations with my family and friends, I’m convinced all the more that everybody struggles with it to some degree.

And this morning, I read this:

“And you shall remember that the LORD your God led you all the way these forty years in the wilderness, to humble you and test you, to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep His commandments or not. So He humbled you, allowed you to hunger, and fed you with manna which you did not know nor did your fathers know, that He might make you know that man shall not live by bread alone; but man lives by every word that proceeds from the mouth of the LORD.”  Deuteronomy 8:2-3

What do these verses tell us?  Well, for starters, the trials we find ourselves in are not random chance.  From small to great, God is aware.  In fact, He’s sovereign over them.  He LED Israel through the desert.  He’s not detached from us.  He’s right there.  So every trial has a purpose.

Our trials are to humble and test us.  Humility comes from knowing that God is God and you’re not.  Humility is realizing that you don’t know everything, nor can you see the “Big Picture” at all times.  Humility is trusting that God can see it.  He’s in the director’s chair.

Testing is done to see if something is genuine, the “real deal.”  Gold and silver are tested in the refiner’s fire.  That fire burns away the impurities, the dross, and leaves only the pure, precious metal.  Likewise, the tests we go through are designed to burn away our trust in ourselves and all our security blankets, and to let us see where our trust really lies.

God doesn’t have to test us to know what’s in our hearts, He knows it already.  The testing is for us.  The testing is God in His mercy allowing us to see what we’re really hoping in.  When all those things get taken away, when we’re “hungry”, and all we’re left with is God, is He enough? What is your answer to that question? Is He enough?

If He is, then we can truly say that we don’t live by bread (material things) alone, but we live by the very Word of God.  May our hope not be in anything under heaven, but may our hope be in the Maker of heaven and earth. 

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