Gold fears no fire (真金不怕火炼)
An OMF biography of missionaries in China has this title “真金不怕火炼,” which literally means real gold not fearing the refining of fire. We read of this in a passage in 1 Peter 2:7,
These (trials) have come so that your faith – of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire – may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honour when Jesus Christ is revealed.We have a living hope because we serve a risen Saviour, and we are also promised an inheritance in heaven that will never perish, spoil or fade; we are redeemed by the precious blood of Christ (1 Pet 1:2-9, 17-19). As we prepare to celebrate Christmas this coming weekend, let us remind ourselves that in His great mercy and love, God sent His Son Jesus Christ to earth to die for our sins, He rose from the dead and is now seated at the right hand of the throne of God. Are we going through trials in our lives at the moment? When we encounter or experience failures, weaknesses or trials, it is indeed difficult to worship or celebrate God's goodness and blessings. Jesus came to this earth in a time of oppression, corruption and pollution, not just in society, but in the ruling Roman authorities, and even amongst the Jewish teachers of the Law. He appeared to lowly shepherds, to humble fishermen, and reached out even to the tax-collectors, prostitutes and lepers. He chose to follow His Father's will, and in obedience, humbled Himself to death, even death on the cross. He redeemed us for His own, His Spirit continues to work in our lives to be more like Christ, and one day, our Lord will come again, returning in all His glory. Will our faith stand the tests of time? Will our faith be proven genuine though tested and refined by the fires of life? Continue to have an unwavering hope in the Lord, and renew your strength by waiting on Him (Isa 40:30, 31). I pray that indeed you will have a blessed Christmas, and remember the reason for the season.