Gold!!!

Guy walks into a jewelry store and proceeds to steal a gold watch. As he is running away, the store owners yells at him. “AU, that’s not your watch!”

gold watch

If you didn’t get that joke, go back to the periodic table of elements. Find number 79. It should make itself clear at that point. =-)


My last post, Trials and Chocolate, ended with the promise to blog about Gold bars.

According to www.usmint.gov, here are some fun facts about gold:

  • Amount of present gold holdings: 147.3 million ounces.
  • The only gold removed has been very small quantities used to test the purity of gold during regularly scheduled audits. Except for these samples, no gold has been transferred to or from the Depository for many years.
  • The gold is held as an asset of the United States at book value of $42.22 per ounce.
  • Highest gold holdings this century: 649.6 million ounces (December 31, 1941).
  • Size of a standard gold bar: 7 inches x 3 and 5/8 inches x 1 and 3/4 inches.
  • Weight of a standard gold bar: approximately 400 ounces or 27.5 pounds.

Now for the spiritual side of gold.

We are in I Peter, and, if I say so myself, not moving very fast. No problem. It is good to meditate on God’s word. Here is verse 7 of the first chapter:

“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.”

If I read that correctly, my faith has greater value than gold.

Why do we go through trials and tribulations?

So that our faith can be proven.

Gold is put through fire. It needs the fire to be purified.

By itself, the gold cannot remove any impurities.

This process of refining gold is complicated and multi-faceted. I don’t understand it either. But the basics are worth catching.

Gold can be found on all seven continents. Regardless of where it was mined, the gold coming out of the earth is not yet pure. It has a long way to go before it gets to your fiance’s finger.

Hence, the refining process. The fire of God.

gold refining

For us, that comes in the form of hard times, temptations, or struggles.

God is desiring that the impurities are removed.

When Jesus comes back, our lives will reflect His glory. Or they won’t reflect His glory.

We can choose to rely on God through the trial or we can try to stick it out ourselves. 

Think about that last sentence.

Who are we to say that we know better than the Almighty God?

Who am I to ignore His grace just for a moment of pleasure?

As much as it hurts or is uncomfortable, let the refining process happen.

I know that I am trying.

I want to be super shiny when Christ returns. I will reflect His character, praise, honor, and glory so much more that way!


At some point soon, you will probably see gold. It might be your wedding band. Perhaps a gold crayon. Maybe the sky will provide golden hues.

Let that color remind you of these two things:

  1. God is letting you go through the refining process to become pure.
  2. God will also never let you go through it alone.

gold bullion

 

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Trials and Chocolate

They come in all shapes and sizes.

Their names are different.

Some are strong; others are weak.

Minutes, hours, or days can be the duration.

Each person reacts differently to varying types.

To what am I referring?

questioning

Trial. Storms. Temptations. Sufferings. Tests. Hardships. What do you call them?

Peter gives some timely words for us.

Here is verse 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.” I Peter 1:6, NIV

Here are my thoughts on Peter’s words.

  1. Trials are diverse. Chocolate might be a weak spot for me but french fries will get my wife every time. We have different trials that affect us.
  2. Trials are distracting. If I am looking at the chocolate, I might miss the meal.
  3. Trials are dividing. I say chocolate is good. My wife likes potato chips better. We are divided on the topic of dessert.
  4. Trials are depleting. My money goes to buy more chocolate. Will I have enough for a regular dinner?
  5. Trials are depressing. What if I eat too much chocolate?

You get the point. And, by the way, chocolate is not that bad for you.


But why are we talking about trials? Didn’t we just get through a few verses of a fantastic inheritance set aside for us?

The answer is, “Yes!” We do have an inheritance. Read my last post to find out more on this topic.

Look at verse 6 again, from earlier. “…for a little while…”

We are not there yet.

We are in a trial period.

trial period

And we can celebrate in the suffering.

We can have joy in the journey.

We can smile in the storm.

We can be happy in the hardship.

We can rejoice (greatly!) during the rain.

Why? Because God is bigger than the trials. He reigns supreme over the hardships.

Out faith will come out like gold when all is done!

gold

And that will be the topic of my next post, Gold bars!

But for now, look to God if you are in a trial. He will see you through it.

And help yourself to a chocolate bar.

 

More…there is always more.

I saw an old friend today while waiting tables. She was a young lady who got married almost 10 years ago. I officiated her wedding. It has been fun to see her grow in God. She is happy with her husband and has two children. God is good.

I do not typically remember my wedding sermons. In fact, I throw away the notes and make new ones for every wedding I do. My count is around 165 or so. Most of the messages don’t stick with me. It was different for this young lady’s wedding as I can still vividly recall the message. The topic was simply “more”. I encouraged them to keep seeking God because there is always more…in God. Regardless of the circumstances or situation they will face as a married couple, there is more!

Jump back to the present.

After she leaves the restaurant, I begin thinking about Paul. You know Paul, right? He is perhaps, the most famous Christian to ever live! He also wrote much of the New Testament. Take a look at this passage from II Corinthians 11:22-30; 12:1-10:

 22Are they Hebrews? So am I. Are they Israelites? So am I. Are they Abraham’s descendants? So am I. 23Are they servants of Christ? (I am out of my mind to talk like this.) I am more. I have worked much harder, been in prison more frequently, been flogged more severely, and been exposed to death again and again. 24Five times I received from the Jews the forty lashes minus one. 25Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was pelted with stones, three times I was shipwrecked, I spent a night and a day in the open sea, 26I have been constantly on the move. I have been in danger from rivers, in danger from bandits, in danger from my fellow Jews, in danger from Gentiles; in danger in the city, in danger in the country, in danger at sea; and in danger from false believers. 27I have labored and toiled and have often gone without sleep; I have known hunger and thirst and have often gone without food; I have been cold and naked. 28Besides everything else, I face daily the pressure of my concern for all the churches. 29Who is weak, and I do not feel weak? Who is led into sin, and I do not inwardly burn?17In this self-confident boasting I am not talking as the Lord would, but as a fool. 18Since many are boasting in the way the world does, I too will boast. 19You gladly put up with fools since you are so wise! 20In fact, you even put up with anyone who enslaves you or exploits you or takes advantage of you or puts on airs or slaps you in the face. 21To my shame I admit that we were too weak for that! 30If I must boast, I will boast of the things that show my weakness. 1I must go on boasting. Although there is nothing to be gained, I will go on to visions and revelations from the Lord. 2I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago was caught up to the third heaven. Whether it was in the body or out of the body I do not know—God knows. 3And I know that this man—whether in the body or apart from the body I do not know, but God knows— 4was caught up to paradise and heard inexpressible things, things that no one is permitted to tell. 5I will boast about a man like that, but I will not boast about myself, except about my weaknesses. 6Even if I should choose to boast, I would not be a fool, because I would be speaking the truth. But I refrain, so no one will think more of me than is warranted by what I do or say, 7or because of these surpassingly great revelations. Therefore, in order to keep me from becoming conceited, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. 8Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. 9But he said to me, My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 10That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

Paul had plenty to boast about. But he realized that God allowed him to experience all of it. He also knew that his weakness was God’s opportunity to be strong.

Paul knew that there was more!


In my own flesh, I could write a list similar to Paul. It would not be quite as intense or even as long but it could be something in which I could boast. But I am learning (every day, practically) that I need God more. The more knowledge and experience I accumulate, the more I understand my need for God. But in a mind-blowing way, there is still more to God! You never even get close to the end of the Almighty! Think about…

His love for me…

His patience for me…

His mercy in my life…

Let me echo the words of Paul as I conclude;

“He is sufficient for me. In my frailty, He can be my support. When my limits are reached, His are just beginning.”