PART THREE 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
3. THE ULTIMATE ISSUE:
“I shall come forth as gold.” Observe the tense here. Job did not imagine that he was pure gold already. “I shall come forth as gold,” he declared. He knew full well that there was yet much dross in him. He did not boast that he was already perfect. Far from it. In the final chapter of his book, we find him saying, “I abhor myself” (42:6). And well he might; and well may we. As we discover that in our flesh there dwelleth “no good thing,” as we examine ourselves and our ways in the light of God’s Word and behold our innumerable failures, as we think of our countless sins, both of omission and commission—good reason have we for abhorring ourselves. Ah, Christian reader, there is much dross about us. But it will not ever be thus.
“I shall come forth as gold.” Job did not say, “When he hath tried me I may come forth as gold,” or “I hope to come forth as gold,” but with full confidence and positive assurance he declared, “I shall come forth as gold.” But how did he know this? How can we be sure of the happy issue? Because the divine purpose cannot fail. He that hath begun a good work in us “will finish it” (Philippians 1:6). How can we be sure of the happy issue? Because the divine promise is sure: “The LORD will perfect that which concerneth me” (Psalm 138:8). Then, be of good cheer, tried and troubled one! The process may be unpleasant and painful, but the issue is charming and sure.
“I shall come forth as gold.” This was said by one who knew affliction and sorrow as few among the sons of men have known them. Yet despite his fiery trials, he was optimistic. Let, then, this triumphant language be ours. “I shall come forth as gold” is not the language of carnal boasting, but the confidence of one whose mind was stayed upon God. There will be no credit to our account—the glory will all belong to the divine Refiner.
For the present, there remain two things: First, love is the divine thermometer while we are in the crucible of testing. Second, the Lord Himself is with us in the fiery furnace, as He was with the three young Hebrews (Dan 3:25). For the future this is sure: the most wonderful thing in heaven will not be the golden street or the golden harps, but golden souls on which is stamped the image of God—predestinated “to be conformed to the image of his Son” (Romans 8:29)! Praise God for such a glorious prospect, such a victorious issue, such a marvelous goal!
Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him. (James 1:12).
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.