The Crucible

August 12, 1997

1 Peter 1:6-7 – In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is refined by fire, may be found to praise, glory and honour at the revelation of Jesus Christ.

The chemistry student was given the assignment of discovering the concentration of metal in an ore sample. This was to be done by heating the sample until there was no further loss of weight, which would indicate that the metal was then pure. It was a frustrating assignment, because every time the sample was heated, it lost more weight. In desperation the student went to the teacher, who showed the correct procedure. The ore was put in a crucible, not a test tube, and instead of a Bunsen burner, high pressure tanks of acetylene and oxygen were wheeled out. The heat of a welder's torch was soon applied to the ore, and the crucible was white hot, for half an hour. After being weighed, it was heated white hot again, for another half hour. But there was no weight loss — the metal was purified.

The standard of purity in human life is Jesus Christ, who lived without sin. Before our lives can become Christ-like in purity, we may have to go through many purifying fires. The next time suffering engulfs you, and you wonder why this had to happen, just think of yourself as gold in God's refining fire. God doesn't design the fiery trials to destroy us, but to prepare us for service as Christ's disciples, with deeper consecration to God.

Prayer:

Thank You, O Lord for Your words:

    "When through fiery trials thy pathway shall lie,
    My grace, all-sufficient, shall be thy supply:
    The flames shall not hurt thee; I only design
    Thy dross to consume, and thy gold to refine."
      Amen.

About the author:

Robin Ross <rross@telus.net>
Mission, British Columbia, Canada

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