Proverbs 17:3

The crucible is for silver, and the furnace is for gold,
and the Lord tests hearts.

If the Lord knows our hearts, why does he need to test them? Consider Peter’s teaching:

In this (our inheritance) you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith – more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire – may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ (1 Peter 1:6-7).

The simple lesson is this – our tests in life are not given as profile tests used by God to figure us out. Rather they are given to us to prove and to purify our faith. Just as the crucible and the furnace remove impurities, so tests remove our idolatries, our self-deception, and other sins that cling to us. But they also reveal in us and for us the faith and spiritual strength we did not know we possessed. And they serve as testimony before the world the glory of God.

As Christians, we are not exempt from trials. But we can know that our trials are meaningful tests that ultimately will result in praise and glory and honor for Christ, and even for ourselves as we reflect his image on that final day.

© 2020 Tenth Presbyterian Church.

Permissions: You are permitted and encouraged to reproduce and distribute this material in its entirety or in unaltered excerpts, as long as you do not charge a fee. For Internet posting, please use only unaltered excerpts (not the content in its entirety) and provide a hyperlink to this page. Any exceptions to the above must be approved by Tenth Presbyterian Church.

Please include the following statement on any distributed copy: By D. Marion Clark. © 2020 Tenth Presbyterian Church. Website: tenth.org