Is your faith being tried?

Posted: October 10, 2019 in Shared Thoughts

Last week one morning, in my devotions and prayers, I was thinking about the trials God takes us through and a few verses came to mind which caused me to have to stop my prayers and go search them out; and look at them more in depth. It was even because of tonight in my prayers thinking of Psalm 23 that all this came back into mind afresh, of how the Lord works to “restore” our souls, even though the “path of righteousness” seems to be taking us right through “the valley of the shadow of death.” For all this is done both for “His name’s sake” and our well-being; because He is indeed our Shepherd.

Here are the passages –

Psalm 17:1 – Hear the right, O LORD, attend unto my cry, give ear unto my prayer, that goes not out of feigned lips. 2 Let my sentence come forth from Your presence; let Your eyes behold the things that are equal. 3 You have proved mine heart; You hast visited me in the night; You have TRIED me and shall find nothing; I am purposed that my mouth shall not transgress. 4 Concerning the works of men, by the word of Your lips I have kept me from the paths of the destroyer. 5 Hold up my goings in Your paths, that my footsteps slip not.

Psalm 26:1 – Judge me, O LORD; for I have walked in mine integrity. I have trusted also in the LORD, therefore I shall not slide. 2 Examine me, O LORD, and prove me; TRY my reins and my heart. 3 For your lovingkindness is before mine eyes and [therefore] I have walked in your truth.

Psalm 66:8 – O bless our God, you people, and make the voice of His praise to be heard: 9 Which holds our soul in life, and suffers our feet not to be moved. 10 For You, O God, have proved us. You have TRIED us, as silver is TRIED. 11 You brought us into the net; You laid affliction upon our loins. 12 You have caused men to ride over our heads and we went through fire and through water. But You brought us out into a wealthy place.

As you can see it is about “proving” and “trying” us, and that often while in the midst of our adversities. The word “prove” in the original Hebrew means as we would naturally conclude, to establish the reality of a thing; that thing being twofold, both our faith and our lives. For it is by His grace working through our faith that we are indeed changed and made to be partakers of His divine nature.

2 Peter 1:2 – Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the [ack-]knowledge[ment] of God, and of Jesus our Lord, 3 According as His divine power has given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him that has called us to glory and virtue. 4 Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises, that by these you might be partakers of the divine nature.

Now, the words “TRY” and “TRIED” in the Psalms above were in caps because that is the thing I was led to look at more closely. In some place in our KJV Bibles, where it says “tried” it means to test, so as to prove. As a matter of fact, the very word translated “proved” in Psalm 66:10 above has been translated as “try” and “tried” more than other ways.

But the words “TRY” and “TRIED” in the Psalms above is translated from a completely different word in Hebrew which has a meaning that is hidden in the English translation; which is more revealed in principle in Peter’s statement that “That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold,” and in Psalm 66:10, where we are “…as silver is TRIED.” For the Hebrew word which was translated “TRY” and “TRIED,” is also often translated as “[re-]finer,” “refiner,” “goldsmiths,” and “founder.”

A classic verse is below –

Malachi 3:3 – And He shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver, and He shall purify the sons of Levi and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the LORD an offering in righteousness.

Now remember, we are all called to be were as the “sons of Levi;” for as Christians we are called to be both kings and priests unto the Lord. But the Lord “sits,” or takes a place in our lives, “as a refiner and a purifier of silver”; which silver is often used to represent of our sanctification to the Lord. The “refiner” smelts the silver to purge it of the impurities or dross. The process of smelting requires heating it to its melting point and allowing the lighter weight impurities to come to the surface; the appearance of such is like soot being black. Once the silver is liquefied and the dross surfaces, the refiner carefully scraps it from the top.

Psalm 12:6 – The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver TRIED in a furnace of earth, purified seven times.

Now, silver when it melts is like aluminum or lead when they melt, in that they all simply liquefy at a lower temperature than other metals, which when heated to their melting point become illuminated with a glow. Silver simply melts with no glow, and pure silver free of dross lays perfectly flat with a glossy sheen causing the surface to be a perfect mirror. Thus, a refiner can look into the smelter and see a perfect reflection of himself therein. Such is the work of Christ as our refiner, it is to make us a partaker of His divine nature; that He might see the perfect completed work of His grace working through our believing-faith, making “the trial of your faith, much more precious than of gold.”

The same is true of the “founder.” For he is the one who takes the purified silver or gold, and then “casts” it in a mold so it can become solid in a fixed form. And for us, that is our coming to “…the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ,” or as Paul said, “until Christ be formed in you.”

Judges 17:4 – Yet he restored the money unto his mother; and his mother took two hundred shekels of silver and gave them to the FOUNDER [same word], who made thereof a graven image and a molten image [of the silver] and they were in the house of Micah.

I just want to encourage you to be strong in the Lord and to remember that in everything we are to give thanks; for in truth He is working all things together for the good of those who love Him.

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