“Coming Forth as Gold”

Lectio Divina: Job 23:10

But he knows the way that I take; when he has tested me, I will come forth as gold.

There was a time when your favorite gold necklace was part of a bunch of other metals congealed together in a rock. When gold is mined, it is barely discernible. It is, in fact, what experts call an ore. Before being shaped into jewelry or coins, the gold ore must go through a trial by fire at a refinery. Through a process called refining, it is re-liquified in a furnace and then heaped with generous amounts of soda ash and borax. This effectively separates the gold from impurities and other metal traces. There are a range of interesting scientific and technological ways gold can be refined. Whatever the method, what remains after the process is a metal that glitters like the sun.

Job knew the testing he was experiencing in his life would refine him like gold. Despite all his goodness and morality, Job needed refining and testing. God knew Job was “blameless and upright” and “he feared God and shunned evil.” (Job 1:1) But he wanted more for him and through the crucible of suffering and loss “the Lord blessed the latter part of Job’s life more than the former part.” (Job 42:12)

However, blessing Job was not the purpose God had for all that suffering. God’s goal for Job, as it is for us, was to draw Job into an intimate relationship with himself. 

Listen to Job’s testimony: “My ears had heard of you, but now my eyes have seen you.” (Job 24:5) Job thought he knew a lot about God, and he did. Job had heard of the Lord God, but now he could see him. Although he knew about God, now he knew him intimately.

Knowing God and knowing him better is the purpose behind every circumstance divine providence brings into our lives. James suggested we should “consider it all joy” when we experience them. (James 1:4). This is the “gold” God is working to refine in us.

I remember the times in my life when I questioned why other pastors and missionaries did not go through what I was experiencing. It didn’t seem fair. What I could not see then that I can see more clearly now is God was more interested in my holiness than my happiness. Everything God brought into my life was by design, a design I did not appreciate until later. Job understood this and said, “When he has tested me, I will come forth as gold.”

Father: When I feel life has been unfair to me or my struggles are greater than I can bear, show me a glimpse of what you are doing. Remind me that your love does not always look like comfort. Your love does not always give me blessings or success. Open my eyes to see what you see in me… precious gold being refined and purified by your love. Teach me that “Our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.” (2 Corinthians 4:17)

Published by Larry Doyle

Larry began his ministry as a pastor in Kentucky, his native state, while completing his undergraduate, graduate, and post-graduate degrees. (1968–1979) From 1980 to 1992, He and his wife, Becky, served in Ecuador, as missionaries with the International Mission Board. Upon returning to North Carolina, Larry pastored the Union Cross Hispanic Baptist Church in Kernersville from 1992 to 1999. In January of 2000, Larry and Becky became volunteer coordinators for Baptist on Mission in Honduras, rebuilding house and churches after the destruction of Hurricane Mitch. Upon returning from Honduras in December 2000, Dr. Doyle became the International Ministries Director for Baptist Metrolina Ministries in Charlotte, NC. In September 2003, He and Becky moved to Greensboro, where he served as Director of Missions for the Piedmont Baptist Association in Greensboro, NC until May 2016. Although retired from vocational missionary service, Larry continues to mentor and disciple men. Currently, he is pastor for Spiritual Formation and Discipleship at Proximity Church in Greensboro, NC.

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