Tuesday, June 24, 2014

365 Days with God - Day 170: A Test of Hearts

I'm giving myself a challenge. Read the Bible each day for a whole year, following the ESV Study Guide 1-year plan. Each day, I will post whatever God has revealed to me in His Word, and how it is changing me. A friend of mine once said that nothing has changed her life as much as reading the bible each day - and I'm excited for how this will change me. Join me on an adventure into the heart of God - and day by day, we can learn more about who He is and what that means to us!

- Andy Catts

Day 170, June 22, 2014
Readings: Proverbs 17, Proverbs 18, Deuteronomy 21:1-23, Deuteronomy 22:1-12, Amos 5, Matthew 3

Have you ever been angry at God for allowing you to struggle through something? Most of the time when I'm in this situation, I asking God why. Why allow me to suffer? What good is my suffering? How does this benefit (me)? And, usually, "God, if you're so powerful, couldn't you just take this away?"

The crucible is for silver, and the furnace is for gold,
and the LORD tests hearts. (Proverbs 17:3)

Note the analogy here. Crucibles and furnaces were used to heat silver and gold to extremely high temperatures, which would remove the impurities to make them pure, taking out all that was not gold or silver, so that it would be the way God made it. And this is an intense process.

When our hearts are tested, it is like a crucible or furnace. It's not meant to be low-key. It's not meant to be like skipping through a field of daisies. Because of sin, we have polluted ourselves with foreign material. God wants us to return to the person he made us to be. He wants us to be pure. We think of a test being like an exam - proving that we have the knowledge. But God isn't testing our knowledge. God is testing our hearts, our purity to him. Refining us to be more like him, for we were made in his image.

The next time I'm tested, I know it will be hard to remember this. It will be easy to shake my fist at God, to ask, "Why me!?" and question His goodness. But every test I go through, He is making me more like Him. He is refining me. I'm not sure how, but I'm going to do my best to thank God the next time this happens. Because it's what I need.

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