Evening Devotional

LEARNING IN THE CRUCIBLE OF LIFE

Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.

[James 1:2-3]

Character qualities such as perseverance develop with use and are learned not in the classroom but in the crucible of life. As Paul said, “We also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance” (Romans 5:3).

God knows the best way to build character, and he has his reasons for letting experience be the best teacher, as H. A. Ironside makes clear.

WALK WITH H. A. IRONSIDE

“It is no evidence of God’s displeasure when his people are called upon to pass through great trials.

“If someone professes to have faith in the Lord, that person can be sure that his or her profession will be put to the test sooner or later.

“Alas, that we so frequently lose courage and become despondent in the hour of temptation, instead of realizing that it is the very time when we should look up into the Father’s face with confidence, knowing that he is working out some purpose in us which could not be accomplished in any other way.

“We are called to consider it pure joy when we face trials. The trials of many kinds do not refer to our being tempted to sin, but rather as when God tempted Abraham, to the testing of our faith.

“The man or woman who learns to be submissive to whatever God permits glorifies him who orders all things according to the counsel of his own will.”

WALK CLOSER TO GOD

Gold subjected to high temperatures emerges much the same—yet different. It is still gold, but it is a gold of a brighter, purer character.

Faith in the furnace is like gold in the fire. The heat only serves to refine it, purify it, strengthen it, deepen it. It emerges with a brighter, purer quality.

As the fire grows hotter, thank God that he values your faith in him and that this test will “result in praise, glory and honor”—to him! (1 Peter 1:7).

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