“The crucible for silver and the furnace for gold, but the Lord tests the heart.”
(Proverbs 17:3 NIV)

In life hardship is inevitable. Being alive is the only prerequisite for feeling pain. There was a man in the Bible named Job who suffered through incredible pain. He was wealthy but lost his fortune. He was loved but lost his family. He was popular but lost the respect of his friends and he was healthy but became ill. His pain was so great that he questioned his very existence asking; “Why is life given to those with no future, those God has surrounded with difficulties?” (Job 3:23) After much thought Job realized that the flames of adversity had come to test and purify his character. As the goldsmith bears the heat of the furnace to separate the worthless impurities from the pure gold the Lord works through the heat of tribulation to refine the quality of our character. If the Lord did not recognize our value he would not waste time in front of the furnace. God sees the precious end result to justify the process. “He knows the way that I take; when he has tested me, I will come forth as gold.” (Job 23:10)