Light on the Rock Blogs

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Which would you choose? Gold bar or severe trial?

gold bar I remember a sermon in church from when I was maybe 15-16 years old. That’s going back 55 years or more. Some sermons just stick in your memory forever and this was one of them.

The preacher asked us all – “If I could give you your choice, which would you pick? A solid gold bar weighing 1 kilo (2.4 pounds) – or a serious trial God will put you through. Which would you pick?”

The gold bar of course would have been worth many thousands of dollars when the price of gold was already very high for just an ounce of gold. The price today for just one ounce of gold is $2,233. Imagine what a 1 kilo bar of pure gold would cost! That would be about $77,000 for a .999% pure gold bar. Maybe I should go out and buy a truck load, right? In my dreams.

So you’re being offered a $77,000 gold bar – OR you could have – from God - a serious trial He has hand-selected for you, just you -- like a terrible bone cancer or pancreatic cancer or multiple sclerosis that goes on and on and on – which would you pick? The pure gold bar you can keep – or God’s trial He would give you?

If you would pick the gold bar, you made a terrible decision. But this should show us the real VALUE of going through a serious trial from God, with God’s help – a value that would last forever.

1 Peter 1:6-9

“In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various TRIALS,

7 that the genuineness of your FAITH, being much more precious than GOLD that perishes, though it is TESTED by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ, 8 whom having not seen you love.

Though now you do not see Him, yet believing, you rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory,

9 receiving the end of your faith—The SALVATION of your souls.

Listen to my recent sermon on “When God doesn’t heal the faithful” for much more on this. God has wonderful reasons for letting us suffer. God’s own Son was PERFECTED by the things which He suffered. Suffering does that. Should it be any different for us?

Hebrews 2:10

“For it was fitting for Him, for whom are all things and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons to glory, to make the captain of their salvation PERFECT through SUFFERINGS.

Even in Hebrews 11 we read of our spiritual forefathers who were chased out of their homes, had to live in caves, or like Isaiah – were SAWN in two! God certainly wants his people perfected and refined and tested – and suffering builds all those for us.

It’s the same for us. We must have our faith tested and perfected and strengthened. It puts qualities in us for God’s use for eternity.

1 Peter 5:10

“But may the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, AFTER you have suffered a while, PERFECT, establish, strengthen, and settle you.”

James 1:2-4

“My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, 3 knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. 4 But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.”

So there are definite and strong reasons for the sufferings, for pain, illness and tests and trials we each are going through – all of it worth far, far more than a gold bar that perishes.

I think most of us know that it would be terribly hard to choose being bedridden for year after year in pain and suffering – or paralysis – over the chance to be given a gold bar. And yet, look at what apostle Peter told us. As we read this, think about the trials you’ve had, or know others have, and maybe this can put those trials into perspective. Also, be sure to hear my recent audio sermon “When God doesn’t always heal the faithful.”

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This coming full solar eclipse April 8, 2024
The Humble Centurion
 

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