PART ONE OF A THREE PART SERIES
TRIED BY FIRE (Excerpts)
A.W. Pink (1886-1952)
“But he knoweth the way that I take: when he hath tried me
I shall come forth as gold.”—Job 23:10
Job here enunciates a noble view of life. How splendidly optimistic he was! He did not allow his afflictions to turn him into a skeptic. He did not permit the sore trials and troubles through which he was passing to overwhelm him. He looked at the bright side of the dark cloud—God’s side, hidden from sense and reason. He took a long view of life. He looked beyond the immediate “fiery trials” and said that the outcome would be gold refined. “But he knoweth the way that I take: when he hath tried me I shall come forth as gold.”
Three great truths are expressed here. Let us briefly consider each separately.
1. DIVINE KNOWLEDGE OF MY LIFE:
“For his eyes are upon the ways of man, and he seeth all his goings” (Job 34:21).
“The eyes of the LORD are in every place, beholding the evil and the good”
…to the Christian, here is real comfort. How cheering to remember that my Father knows all about my trials, my difficulties, my sorrows, my efforts to glorify Him. Precious truth for those in Christ, harrowing thought for all out of Christ, that the way I am taking is fully known to and observed by God.
“He knoweth the way that I take.” Men did not know the way that Job took. He was grievously misunderstood, and for one with a sensitive temperament to be misunderstood is a sore trial. His very friends thought he was a hypocrite. They believed he was a great sinner and being punished by God. Fellow believers, your fellow men, yes, and your fellow Christians, may misunderstand you and misinterpret God’s dealing with you; but console yourself with the blessed fact that the omniscient One knoweth.
“He knoweth the way that I take.” Human volition is a strange enigma. Consciousness bears witness that we are more than automatons. We exercise the power of choice in every move we make. Yet it is plain that our freedom is not absolute. There are forces brought to bear upon us, both good and evil, which are beyond our power to resist. Both heredity and environment exercise powerful influences upon us. Our surroundings and circumstances are factors that cannot be ignored. And what of providence, which “shapes our destinies”? Ah, how little do we know the way that we “take.” Said the prophet, “O LORD, I know that the way of man is not in himself: it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps” (Jeremiah 10:23). Here we enter the realm of mystery, and it is idle to deny it. Better far to acknowledge with the wise man, “Man’s goings are of the LORD; how can a man then understand his own way?” (Proverbs 20:24).
“He knoweth the way that I take.” Which way are you taking—the narrow way that leadeth unto life or the broad road that leadeth to destruction? Make certain on this point, dear friend. Scripture declares, “So every one of us shall give account of himself to God” (Romans 14:12). But you need not be deceived or uncertain. The Lord declared, “I am the way”.
Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life:
no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. John 14:6
TRIED BY FIRE by A.W. Pink (1886-1952) Courtesy of Chapel Library, used with permission. From Comfort for Christians, available as a paperback from CHAPEL LIBRARY.
A.W. Pink (1886-1952): Pastor, itinerant Bible teacher, author of Studies in the Scriptures and many books; born in Nottingham, England, immigrated to the U.S., and later returned to his homeland in 1934.