Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him. (James 1:12 KJV)
It is amazing the process that gold in its raw form has to go through to become the gold that we all admire and treasure. The refining process is by intense heat and fire. Whereas most substances cannot withstand fire, gold can. Infact it comes out more beautiful than it was before it went in.
Just like gold, humans have innate qualities that are put in them by God and under his guidance, we can go through a process of refining and come out better in more ways than we were before. He likes to look at us in our refined state reflecting back to him, his own superior qualities that he put in us. The refining process of those that love him is therefore a labour of love which he is intimately and personally involved in.
The process is not always a pleasant one. it is not one the we will even automatically choose for ourselves. we can only accept, without sometimes wholly understanding all the ‘whys’ if we love God and believe that he loves us too and will not let us go through anything that ultimately in some way will not be to out benefit.
There is an example someone once gave about tea. To make a brew which is drinkable and enjoyable, hot water has to be poured on a tea bag. The taste and the colour of it then comes out and benefits the tea drinker.
We cannot prove our innate, valuable qualities without demonstrating them. The most beautiful and inspiring human qualities are demonstrated during times of trials and trouble. Qualities like, endurance and resilience, humility, patience, virtue, determination, generosity, creativity, kindness and fortitude among others. These prove what we are made. We most effectively prove both to ourselves and to others what we are made of by what we can endure. Everyone who loves God, knows that he is not fickle or superficial and he does not expect us to be either.
So a journey of self discovery, growth, productivity and the resulting rewards comes through our trials and temptations.
If we are willing to go through and to come through, there is a promise of a reward waiting for us. A truly meaningful life here on earth, where life and its hardships cannot keep us bound but more importantly, a crown of life in the hereafter, because unlike many, we have overcome and proved that we are made of better stuff than most.