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Your Suffering Can Produce Something of Great Value – Rick Warren

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

Job 23:10 (NIV)

When I was going through treatment for breast cancer many years ago, I kept thinking about Job 23:10, which says, “He knows the way that I take; when he has tested me, I will come forth as gold” (NIV).
I didn’t take that verse as a guarantee of physical healing. God didn’t owe me that. If God healed me, that was wonderful, but I didn’t see that healing was guaranteed in the verse.

What I did see was potential for producing what I would call “gold” in my life. If I would go through the trial in a way that honored God, then something of beauty could be produced. And I longed for the suffering I was going through to give birth to something lovely, something of lasting value, something as rich as gold.

“These trials are only to test your faith, to see whether or not it is strong and pure. It is being tested as fire tests gold and purifies it—and your faith is far more precious to God than mere gold” (1 Peter 1:7 TLB).

If your faith remains strong after being tested by fiery trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world.

Gold was produced in the fire of cancer in my life, and it continues to be produced in the fire of the suffering and grief of loss that engulfs me in the death of my son, Matthew. Through breast cancer, I gained a new ability to relate to people who suffer life-threatening illnesses. I stared death in the face, and I wasn’t as afraid anymore. I gained a new appreciation for the brevity of life and was more committed than ever to living each day God gives me with passion and purpose.

In the grief and devastation of losing Matthew, I have gained a more intimate walk with Jesus as I have learned how to trust him in the darkest place I have ever been. I have an increased longing for heaven. The Resurrection of Jesus Christ is my dearest hope. I long for the restoration of broken bodies and broken minds that will take place in heaven. And in my suffering, I have learned how to comfort people in their suffering with the comfort God gives me.

This is the gold that God has produced in my life. He can do the same in your life when you allow him to use your pain for his glory.

Talk It Over

Think of a time of suffering in your life. What “gold” has God produce in you from that experience?
What does it mean to suffer well?
How does Job 23:10 challenge your perspective on suffering?

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