When He has tried me — I shall come forth as gold!
(William Purton, "Lessons of Peace in the School of Affliction" 1868)
"Look, I have refined you, but not as silver; I have purified you in the furnace of affliction!" Isaiah 48:10
To purify gold or silver, the refiner puts it into a furnace. Great heat separates the dross from the precious metal. Out of the fire, comes forth the precious substance clean and pure.
So likewise with the child of God. The character may be true gold — yet not pure gold. And so the Lord's mercy says, "I will turn my hand upon you, and purely purge away your dross. I will purify you in the furnace of affliction!" Yes, even as in great heat gold is tried — so in the sharpness of pain and sorrow, does God test and purify His redeemed children.
Let me, then, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is afflicting me. This testing of my faith is the gracious dealing of the Refiner, who seeks to cleanse me. In the furnace of affliction, God's mercy wills to purify me. May I strive to say, as righteous Job said: "When He has tried me — I shall come forth as gold!"
The pain of passing through the fire is keen. The fiery test is not easily endured. Such is our nature, that we all shrink from the furnace of affliction. Indeed, it is very hard to bear the of pain of bodily weakness.
But the Refiner's love chooses the trial!
His wisdom limits it!
His power strengthens us to bear it!
O Lord God, sanctify this trial according to Your wisdom. From pride and self-will; from earthliness of temper; from carnal lusts and sensual imaginations — purify my soul. Make me humble, trustful, gentle, heavenly-minded. In suffering, may I know that You are blessing me. Free my soul from earthly baseness, and beautify it with holiness. Make me, O Lord, like unto pure gold — a vessel fit for Your use and bright with Your glory!
Almighty God, You sent this affliction — You measured it. O bless it, for Christ's sake. Amen.