This Reflection Paper on my life is dedicated to all my brothers and sisters.
Title : A WILLING VESSEL of PURE GOLD
1 Peter 1:6-7 (NIV)
“6 In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials.
7 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.”
GOLD has been revered in almost all human cultures since the start of civilizations. It has many uses. It is used as beautiful jewellery for adornment, for use in financial investment, as efficient conductor in electronics and computers, in dentistry and medicine and many others. In this reflection, I have used GOLD symbolically to refer to the “inner beauty” of a person after the refining process by the LORD. Interestingly, the word “GOLD” was mentioned more than 440 times in the BIBLE.
In my nation Malaysia, we have many gold mines and our brother Zechariah Rajan has worked in one of them as a site supervisor before. The gold ores are exported to Australia for refining to 99.9% pure gold (24 Carat).
In the process of obtaining PURE GOLD, a refiner’s fire will expose and remove the dross and other impurities in the ores. In a similar way, difficulties and afflictions in life is like the gold refining process that can lay bare our faith in God, our character weaknesses and many other shortcomings which up to a certain heating point could well have remained hidden. It is a very painful process and most of us if possible, will not want to go through it.
Don’t ignore what the fires of life can expose, for even though they reveal truths about ourselves that may be hard for us to receive, it is VITAL information. God’s intention is to remove obstacles and impurities in our lives that keep us from experiencing the abundant life (John 10:10).
I would like to share my personal testimony. In the year 1994, some 21 years ago, I lost my mum and a 3 year old nephew in an amok (insane person) attack in my parent’s house. I was then working in a multinational company with good salary and perks. The attacker ran amok in the morning and came into my parent’s house. The gates were not locked at that time. No man was at home to defend the family against the attacker. Both of them died instantly. The attacker fled the scene after committing murder. My house was covered with a lot of blood that day.
My whole family was turned upside down in one day. After that incident, my dad took it very hard and later suffered a massive stroke and was paralysed on one side of his body. He lived on with a very sad heart for seven more years till the age of 65 when the Lord called him home.
This painful episode transformed my life totally. I began to take my Christian life seriously, not to be stagnant as a Sunday Christian. My whole outlook on life was changed by the GRACE of GOD. The LORD has changed my heart of stone to a heart of flesh now. The worldly desires I once clung on to, just departed from me. I began to hunger and thirst for spiritual and eternal truth. My earnest search for the Living God began in the refining fire. In my darkest hours, the Scriptures became ALIVE to me like never before. My spiritual senses were somehow awakened miraculously. Spiritual words take on new meaning. New revelations in the realm of the spirit becoming easy to grasp and understand. The Lord Jesus begins to rule and reign in my life. Amazing turnaround.
Here, I want to share some of the Scripture Verses of the Bible that has ministered to me through the painful years :
1. The Words of the Bible became ALIVE as if I had new lenses on.
– Psalms 119:105, “Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.”
2. Jesus Christ is the True and Living God. The questions and doubts about His DEITY was totally removed in the furnace. HE became my “AII IN ALL.” He is ALIVE!
– John 14:6 Jesus answered, “I am the WAY and the TRUTH and the LIFE. No one comes to the Father except through me.”
– Hebrew 13:8, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.”
3. PERSEVERE in the FAITH through the pain and uncertainties of life. Not running after other gods (idols) and man in our hour of need. Our faith in God must be tested and refined.
– James 1:3, “… because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.”
4. HOPE in GOD. This is my ANCHOR in times of tribulations and sufferings.
– Romans 15:13 , “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”
5. The PEACE that surpasses all understanding. It’s always there. Amazing Peace!
– Philippians 4:7 ,”And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
6. Weeping will be turned to JOY if we allow the Lord to heal our pain. Jesus Christ has promised to be with me (us) till the very end of age.
– Psalm 30:5, “…weeping may stay for the night but REJOICING comes in the morning.”
7. TRUST the Lord in whatever situation I am in. He is “THE GREAT I AM.”
– Psalm 91:2, I will say of the Lord, “HE is my refuge and my fortress, my GOD, in whom I trust.”
8. FORGIVENESS is not an option for a Christian. I choose to forgive the attacker and all the harm he did to my loved ones. The burden of un-forgiveness was completely lifted up. I was set free by Jesus!
– Matthew 18:21-22, “ Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times? Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.”
9. Experiencing the POWER of JESUS’ RESURRECTION. Life takes on new meaning with the supernatural life of Christ flowing in and through my life. Miracles began to happen in answer to prayers.
– Philippians 3:10, the Apostle Paul said, “I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death.”
10. JESUS CHRIST gave me (us) ETERNAL LIFE. My ultimate destiny as a child of God and for every believer in Christ. Heaven and hell is real. In heaven, there is no more pain and sorrow. God will wipe away every tear and pain. I want to go there after my earthly sojourn. In my earthly experience, this world is a painful place to live in. It is destroyed by sin.
– John 3:16, “16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”
So my brothers and sisters, instead of trying to avoid the heating process, let JESUS CHRIST use it for refining our lives into “vessels of pure gold”. Embrace the opportunity to transform our lives for His Glory and for His Kingdom.
Humility and “to be teachable” in this situation will increase our spiritual growth. And to be a WILLING vessel of PURE GOLD that reflects HIS IMAGE with ever-increasing GLORY ( 2 Cor 3:18 ). Hallelujah!
In Romans 8:29 (NIV) the Word of God says, “For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters.” We are changed from glory to glory in the furnace of afflictions with the LORD JESUS at our side. Amazingly, the Lord sets the correct heating temperatures for each of us individually. Praise the Lord!
Remember that through our trials and afflictions in life, HIS BANNER over us is LOVE ( Song of Songs 2:4 ).
Love will lead us through difficult times. This is AMAZING GRACE!
Will you seek HIM in the REFINING FIRE?
Will you be bitter or better in the furnace of afflictions?
Will you be the WILLING vessel of PURE GOLD to shine for JESUS and for His Kingdom?
The answer is ours to make.
Scripture References :
Deuteronomy 8:2 (NIV)
2 Remember how the LORD your God led you all the way in the wilderness these forty years, to humble and test you in order to know what was in your heart, whether or not you would keep his commands.
Proverbs 17:3 (NIV)
3 The crucible for silver and the furnace for gold, but the LORD tests the heart.
1 Peter 1:6-7 (NIV)
6 In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials.
7 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.
John 10:10 (NIV)
10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.
2 Corinthians 3:18 (NIV)
And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.