The last five years have been tumultuous to say the least. I experienced a friend’s betrayal in a business endeavor gone awry. The death of my brother in 2015 marked a tragic end to his twenty-five-year battle with addiction leaving irreversible physical and emotional family scars. I sought relief in the one place I though had to be safe…the church. I was wrong.
When that relationship came crashing down, I began to question my faith in God and whether or not He even cared about me. It seemed like everything I tried to build was knocked down and my tiny family was becoming minuscule. I had a choice to walk away from God or stick with Him and fight for my faith, joy and happiness. I chose to stick it out. It wasn’t easy. It took a year of therapy and medication for what was called a “Major Depressive Episode.”
But through it all God began to do something amazing. He restored my faith and took me even deeper. 1 Peter 1:3-4 tells us our hope is not in this life but in the life to come. God has given us “new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade.”
I began to understand that God was tearing away my idols by trials. My faith was being tested in this temporary home we call earth. I was being refined like gold.
In a nutshell, God was seeing if I was serious about my faith…or not.
“…though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed” (1 Peter 1: 6-7).
No matter what you are going through, choose God. Choose joy and choose to fight for it. Choose to believe that God has a perfect plan in your pain. Like the purity of Gold is proven by fire…the depth of your faith is sometimes proven by pain.