Our God certainly knows the path we take. He knows our every movement, feeling and desire. He is capable of knowing, since He created us in such a way that He should be in supreme control of us. When people think He is not in control of everything that happens in their life and around them, they are highly mistaken. Every breath we take has been granted by Him. He knows when we sin; and knows when we obey, fear and love Him. He counts every little thing we do and think for Him. He is the God that wants to have joy in watching us live for Him. Hence, He watches us closely with an ultimate desire. And the man said, “But He knows the way I take; When He has tried me, I shall come forth as gold” (Job 23:10).
How do you feel if you are the gold the world craves after? God can make you that way. Only here you become the imperishable gold. You see, He has made us righteous by faith for a reason. It is that we take the path that pleases Him. He sets it before us. He enables us to take it by the wisdom of righteousness. At that time we full well know what is pleasing to Him. In that path He tries us, i.e. we face trials. It is the way for us to get to a greater level of intimacy with Him; it has superior consequences. It is indeed amazing that Job knew what is going on with him. It is as though he has gone through it before, for he knew the outcome of being tried by the Almighty. If we want to end up being gold, i.e. the precious of God, we must be refined by Him. The gold we see in the market is not just there without being refined several times. It has been rid of all impurities that its true nature is revealed and is desired. We are sanctified by God through faith in Him. In other words, we believed in Him and He made us His children. This then means He has obtained the right to refine us. It is like a child being trained by parents to be equipped for latter days.
When God tries us, it is to make us better. He is helping us understand Him and the way He operates. We must take righteous paths, if He is to refine us. Being in sin or walking in disobedience does not give Him the chance to purify us. So, when we take the righteous paths and our going forward appears difficult, He is trying us. He wants to know as well as show the world how we deal with Him in those times and then rejoice by it. Those are the precious times for Him toward us and if we are able to realize it, we will surely benefit. For in those times He instructs us, trains us for great wisdom and gives the power to overcome. He makes us realize our impurities, i.e. weaknesses, which are hidden in us and do not come out, unless tried. We ourselves would never be able to remove them. Fear of rejection by God, fear of not belonging to Him, doubting His will and promises, considering ourselves worthless for His purpose, fear of not doing enough to please Him are attitudinal impurities that prevent us from enjoying God’s love and His wonderful presence. Through trying us He makes us realize how close He is to us. He prepares us for the times ahead of us so that when challenging times appear we stand strong, immovable and unchanged.
When God tried Job, it was with the knowledge that Job would not deny Him. At the same time, He also intended to purify him. No one should see himself as too righteous that God should not have His way with him. Job rectified his weakness in the end. God did not deem his attitude a sin, since in all his discourse Job kept admitting God is the Almighty, who knows and controls everything. It was only when he was constantly provoked by his friends that his weakness came out. In it he cursed his life; felt rejected by God; doubted he will ever see good days and felt worthless. Now, this was a righteous man, who feared God, was upright, blameless and did not do evil. And, it is only with a righteous man does God has His way so that He can bring him forth as gold. After what has happened Job was doubly enriched concerning God. While being tried, circumstances and people bring out the worst in us, even if it is a weakness. For God does not desire it in us.
What could be the best outcome of being tried by God? It is this: “Then He said to me, ‘Son of man, stand on your feet that I may speak with you!’” (Ezek. 2:1). With this intimacy He fulfills everything concerning us. The prophet himself was in trial. He was in captivity, in the land of the Chaldeans. At that time God called him. The point is that as we face trials in righteousness on the one hand, on the other hand, God is about to reveal Himself to us. It is the best time to know Him deeply, receive from Him and carry out His purpose. The trials we face, no matter the magnitude, will remain as the everlasting foundation for the knowledge of God and intimacy with Him. They act as buffers to our day to day living for Him. This enthralls Him to continue His discourse with us. The best thing to do when being tried is to accept it and glorify God; for there is a blessing at the end of it. Sometimes a trial will be a bit longer than we can bear. Seeking God’s strength keeps us from fainting. He is trying us to produce a certain effect in us. When He is done, we will only have words to thank Him.
When it comes to being tried diversely and overcoming them, there is no better example than Jesus Christ our Master. He was sinless, without weaknesses and yet, was tried. God did not spare even His own Son. He did it that Christ would stand as pattern to us, who need to come forth as gold. The pattern He set is this: trials are becoming for glory. And so, God quantified the glory He gave Him by saying, “UNTIL I MAKE YOUR ENEMIES A FOOTSTOOL FOR YOUR FEET” (Acts 2:35). Many do not comprehend that God is the one to bestow glory on them. When He made them His children, He wants to glorify them by committing themselves to Him. This would allow Him to try them. They cannot receive glory, unless they come forth as gold. They cannot come forth as gold, unless they walk in righteous paths. And they cannot walk in righteous paths, unless they commit their spirit to Him. Everyone wishes for joy in life, but true joy is that which has been granted by God through His commendation. Every other joy will fade away, since the ways by which they appear were not of God.
The reason many do not have true joy is because they are not honest about the truth of the gospel. In other words, they take some aspects of the gospel lightly. The result is they walk with one foot outside the realm of the gospel. So, we see what Paul had to do. “But when I saw that they were not straightforward about the truth of the gospel, I said to Cephas in the presence of all, ‘If you, being a Jew, live like the Gentiles and not like the Jews, how is it that you compel the Gentiles to live like Jews?’” (Gal. 2:14). It has become way too common for many Christians to live like the gentiles. When they do not realize their mistake, they face great difficulties in life. Furthermore, they attribute those difficulties to trials. There is no greater disgrace than it, for they reverse the truth of being tried in righteousness. Peter, Barnabas and others were privileged to have a man as Paul around them. Or else, they would have continued in it. God made use of Paul to cut off their insincerity. Similarly, He has called us to make use of us and make us a privilege to those who are in insincerity. And for this reason, let us be careful in not missing the joy He gives. Let us walk adamantly in His paths so that when we are being tried in righteousness, we come forth as gold. There will never be a different outcome than to come forth as gold. God will honor us just as He did Job through whom He also forgave the sin of his friends.
Here is how we choose the paths God set before us. “Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father” (Col. 3:17). There is little need to emphasize this passage. For when it began with ‘whatever’ it said it all. However, the emphasis needed is on doing all things in word or deed according to the will or approval of Jesus. It is what ‘in the name of the Lord Jesus’ means, and not just doing anything affixing His name to it. The name “Lord” was deliberately used before the name “Jesus” to denote that the Master/Ruler should instruct us the things we must do. So, follow this principle. You will find joy, because you do the things Jesus approved knowing that trials will come. And by giving thanks to God through Him you glorify God in your trials. Do not fear. God will not leave you to trials, but in them will comfort you greatly. For He said, “Are they not all ministering spirits, sent out to render service for the sake of those who will inherit salvation?” (Heb. 1:14).
Believe the Scripture on its face value. Then, you will have the opportunity to know and experience the deeper things in it. We are the people who must inherit eternal life. God will use His angels to help us in difficult times. From time to time we will be comforted by ways which we do not expect. Remember, God is in control of everything in our life and around us. Every breath we take is granted by Him. He keeps a close eye on us. When He is done refining us, all that is to come is glory, honor and peace. For to this end He willed it for us that the Word of Christ is applicable to us. “Simon Peter said to Him, ‘Lord, where are You going?’ Jesus answered, ‘Where I go, you cannot follow Me now; but you will follow later’” (John 13:36).