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But he knows the way that I take; when he has tested me, I will come forth as gold. Job 23:10

“I believe in the sun even when it is not shining, I believe in love even when I am alone and I believe in God even when He is silent” Inscription found scratched into a wall in Germany by someone hiding from the Nazi concentration camps.

It’s easy to have faith in God when you have a surplus in your checkbook. Having faith is easy when your spouse is sensitive to all your needs; your kids are well respected, academically achieving, mature young men and women; the doctor’s report comes back favorably and the weather forecast is perfect for that outdoor picnic.

If we are really honest with ourselves, all too often the level of our faith is directly proportional to the comfort level of our lives. When things go well, God is good. When things go bad then something or someone must be wrong. We can easily start blaming others, ourselves, or even God for all the bad that happens. Sometimes we even stop believing that God exists or, if he does, is unconcerned or unable to deal with our situation.

None of us have endured the pain and agony that Job experienced. Children in his day were a sign of wealth and godliness and all ten of his kids were killed in a horrible storm. He was the richest and most generous man in the region, yet had all his wealth taken from him. His body was full of painful, itching, oozing boils for which the only medicine was to sit in a pile of ashes and scrap himself with a piece of broken pottery. His community couldn’t bear to look at him so he was ignored, his friends became his relentless critics, imploring him to turn from sin and his wife, the last person he had on earth, turned her back on him. Job was a completely broken, lonely, pain-racked man.

In the midst all this pain Job testifies to his faith in God. It’s as though he says, in a voice that almost sounds like he’s trying to convince himself, “I know that He’s there. I can’t see Him. But I know He sees me. I can’t understand what I’ve done to end up this way. I followed and obeyed Him. I’ve been a good husband and father. I’ve been generous to the poor. It doesn’t matter what people think of me. This one thing I know. When all this pain is over. When the time of His testing is done. I’ll come out of this shining like gold.

The picture of gold is a picture of refining; a picture of removing all the impurities, all the faults, all the issues that may have been in Job’s character by the cleansing heat of fire. Fire is painful and ruthless in it’s purifying of gold just as trials are ruthless in purifying our character. Enduring faith is seen in the hard times of life, when everything seems to be going downhill.

Wherever you are in life, ask God to help you grow to have enduring faith. Perhaps you’ve looked back on your life and seen many times when your decisions and lifestyle have brought on the consequences you now face. Nothing you have done or anyone else has done can keep you from enjoying the peace and comfort only God can give through His Son Jesus.

Praise Him today for the fact that someday your earthly trials will be over. Someday He will show Himself to you in ways you never thought possible. You may not be able to see Him. His ways may seem to far off for you and your pain may be too great right now. But He does love you and knows where you are and wants to walk with you through the adversity that lay ahead.

PRAYER: Heavenly Father. Although I’m not in nearly as bad of shape as Job, my pain is still very real. I’ve tried to find you, but I can’t. I’ve tried to fill this void in my life with all sorts of things, even things like religion, but that hasn’t worked. I thank you that you see me where I am and love me the way I am. Help me to have enduring faith as I walk this journey called life. Show me Jesus so I can follow Him. Thank you for forgiving me, in Jesus name, Amen.


When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. Isaiah 43:2

The fairy tales of old all have a familiar ring to them. They all start ‘once upon a time’. It doesn’t matter when they started or took place or where. They started. That’s all that needs to be known. The other thing that rings true is how they end. ‘They all lived happily ever after.’ The tyrant or big, bad wolf, or wicked witch all vanished. The flowers grew, the birds sang and life was good. Forever.

As children, perhaps one of the reasons we loved fairy tales so much was that they give us a glimpse of life that we know, as adults, will never really happen. Wolves win sometimes. Wickedness doesn’t just go away. Giants still roam the land and the walls of our unseen prisons seem inescapable. Fairy tales gave us hope that someday things will work out. Our dreams can be attained. Miracles will happen.

Isaiah 43:2 gives us a more realistic view of how life happens and what we can expect. There will be waters to pass through. The original languages describe this water as ‘deep water’ such as an ocean. There will be rivers to cross. Rushing, rock smashing rivers that threaten to tear our boats apart. There will be fire. Consuming fires that have no regard for the sanctity of life or the treasures we possess. Fire destroys everything.

But along with the horror Isaiah describes comes hope. When the Israelites were trapped at the edge of the Red Sea. And Pharaoh’s army was closing in. And there was no way out, no hope, nothing left to do but surrender and hope for the best. God made a way through the deep waters. He took a hopeless situation and brought His people through it.

When Israel needed to cross the mighty river Jordan to enter into the land promised them long ago. God parted those waters. The rushing torrents were silenced. He delivered His people safely through to dry ground.

When Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego were thrown into the fiery furnace for refusing to give into an evil world system. Innocent as they were and following God’s law to the letter, their fate was sealed by an evil king bent on proving his power. Yet when the King looked into the furnace he saw the impossible. The men were walking around in the midst of the flames. When they were released, they didn’t even smell of smoke!

Three lessons. Three examples of life’s attacks. The open attack of an enemy. The barriers to our dreams. The attacks when we are innocent. They each come into our lives. We were never promised that we would not see adversity and calamity in our life time. We were promised that in the midst of the most violent circumstances our Heavenly Father will walk us through. He loves us. Even in the direst of circumstances He will see us through.

PRAYER: Father God. I thank you for the promise you made that my life is completely and totally in your hands. Today I have many worries and concerns. It seems like my enemies are surrounding me. Sometimes I think I’m my own worst enemy! Help me to trust you in the midst of the trials of life. Thank you for loving me. Amen.

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