– Charles Spurgeon
Hardship and Challenges Only Serve to Polish Us
Human Beings and Gold are Quite Alike
First, we’re all valuable in God’s eyes. He created all of us and we are of infinite value to him. How do we know this? Well, he sacrificed his only begotten son so we can have a means to be reconciled to him. He gave everything he had. And since God the father and the Son are one, he sacrificed himself to die the most shameful death ever just so we can have a means to choose reconciliation. That’s how much God loves us.
The second way human beings are like gold and other precious metals is the fact that gold, silver, platinum, don’t come out of the ground pristine. They often look dirty, tarnished, and far from the shiny and precious pieces of metal we use for jewelry or investment. These precious metals have to go through lots of heat to get rid of impurities so their true beauty can shine through. Gold ore is melted down at very high heat and often processed with mercury. From raw clumps of unappealing ore to lustrous and shiny gold, high temperatures are needed to make this transformation come true. Similarly, when diamonds start out, they are simple lumps of coal. It takes a lot of pressure to turn coal into a diamond. And even after all this pressure is applied, to turn raw diamonds into the sparkly jewels we are familiar with, a lot of cutting and polishing is involved.
Affliction Refines Us
Let’s face it, we are all creatures of comfort and we tend to run to pleasure and run away from pain. This is simple human nature. However,, there often needs to be a process involving pressure, heat, and cutting away to truly reveal the character God intended us to have, just like gold. Pressure in our afflictions give us the opportunity to choose to react and take the path of least resistance (oftentimes sin) or stand up for our highest values. The heat of the moment gives us the opportunity to either give in to temptation or choose to do what is right. There are many situations where the right decision involves cutting away the habits, relationships, and mindsets that hold us back from walking with God more fully. When we choose the right decisions, afflictions serve to refine us and our Christ-like character shines through even more brightly. Just like a piece of precious gold.