Humility and the Fire of God’s Furnace…

” For Gold and Silver are tried in the fire, but acceptable men in the furnace of humiliation.”
– Ecclesiastes 2:5   ( Textual Concordance of the Holy Scriptures  copyright 1908 Benzinger Brothers.)

Every single person has a spiritual path to walk.  They are on a different point on their journey.
Indeed, there are many points that each of us have shared.. and those shared points occur, within our own experiences, but also at different points of our journey..

Your experience of your spiritual journey might occur in a different place than the next person.  No spiritual journey to GOd has ever occured in a straight line.

I would dare say that if there was ever some one whose path was exactly what they thought it would be.. I would like to meet them.
( Save of course for the Lord.. )

In the course of your journey how many of you have stood there , or knelt there, and prayed for patience.. ( I know .. I know)
and even though you know too the saying is, be careful what you ask for.   If you pray for patience, possibly you will be given the trials that will present you with the opportunity to work on your patience, and odds are you will probably fail at some point during that process.

This is however an incorrect way of thinking about this in the spiritual sense.   Consider this for a moment..

For a number of people, the beginning of their mature spiritual journeys, began at a point of crisis in their lives. Something happened to them, or to someone they care about, that caused them to stop and consider the “why” of how things happen, or to find some sort of meaning in their lives.  It might have been just a point in their lives where there was a void, an emptyness, some critital juncture where they felt like there had to be something else.
It was, however a trial or difficulty of some sort or other that brought them to the point of making those decisions, that brought them to the beginning of understanding at some level of their spiritual journey.

This verse has a number of messages for us.

The first part,  ” For Gold and Silver are tried in the fire…”  In this section we understand that in the physical secular world, that Gold and Silver are highly prized, possibly above other possesions one might own.   However, reading further we find this.  ” but acceptable men…”   Notice he did not say just “men”, but “acceptable men “.  This is an important distinction.

So this begs the question who exactly is “acceptable” ?   In Romans Chapter 5, we read, that although from the time of Adam, unto the time of Christ, Sin reigned within the world and man was not “acceptable” because of sin.  However, just as sin entered the world through one man, sin was conquored by through Jesus Christ, true God and true man.  The paschal mystery provided for all man kind who, by faith in Jesus Christ, have been provided the opportunity for salvation, and therefore made “acceptable” to God.

One other facet of this verse in Ecclesiastes. This provides for us the opportunity to reflect on the yet another verse along this path.. ”
For where your treasure is, there also will your heart be…”  Matthew 6:21

For in this verse we talk of silver and Gold as being precious to men.  In Matthew the reading previous to this particular verse admonishes us not to store up treasures for ourselves here on Earth, because the things we here are fleeting, temporary, and subject to decay.  In contrast the treasures that we store up in heaven are eternal.
Returning to the orginal thought, where we all have trials and difficulties.  We all know that trials and difficulties are part of every day life.  Even those who have no faith life still go through difficulties in life.  So there is no sense in trying to avoid them by ignoring what it is that you already know.

Pray for those things that you have discerned that you need.  The fact that you know that you need to work on some certain area in your life is the Holy Spirit at work within you, informing you and urging you forward ever closer in your walk with God.

Pray for wisdom, guidance, patience, and grace.  When your own trials happen in life, like many other things you might not see what happens, or how God was working with you while you go through your trial, but in time, you will understand.   Keep firmly in mind that just like the beginning of your journey, the trial you were going through was what started you in your journey, and it was how it was that you came to be closer to God.

For your soul is the most precious thing you have.  It is the only thing you have that will stay with you, even after death. Your treasures in heaven, stored up through a lifetime of service to God, and to your brothers and sisters for the sake of Christ, that  will be where your treasures truly lie, and this is indeed what makes it worth life’s trials.

May God give you the gift of His peace !

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