I was never schooled in the gold purification process. Consider it a failure of the modern education system.
But when I resolved to preach a sermon series on suffering, I inevitably came upon 1 Peter 1:6-7: In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, 7 so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.
The Old Testament’s most famous sufferer, Job, said of his own trials that when God had tried him, he would come out as gold.
When I did a little reading and googling to check out this connection between suffering, fire, and gold, I was amazed to find this picture.
Above is an 860kg chunk of gold core. That’s just a shade under 1900 pounds! And the little pill looking sliver of gold is the 30g of pure gold extracted from that rock. 30g is about 1oz…a slice of bread. Gold is about $1,150/ounce right now. So there you go. It’s valuable.
But think about what God communicates through the scriptures about your faith and the fires of suffering/trials/hardships.
Your faith could enter a season of testing looking like the giant rock above. It’s covered in what’s called dross, which is the waste and junk covering up the good stuff. It’s like going to a flea market or garage sale and finding the treasure amidst the trash.
But there’s gold within–pure gold! It takes the fire to melt away the useless parts to expose that of incredible worth. So how crazy would it be NOT to put that rock through the fire and melt away the dross?
If that’s true with gold…which is as good as pavement in God’s kingdom…wouldn’t God then be unloving to not put us through fires if we come out shining as bright as the trophies we put on shelves? Follow. the trophy metaphor
The way Eugene Peterson summarizes this text is spot on: When Jesus wraps this all up, it’s your faith, not your gold, that God will have on display as evidence of his victory (The Message).
We love trophies, so much that now kids get them for mere participation, not even winning. I recall when a ribbon sufficed for such madness.
Professional athletes receive gold rings for winning championships.
Actors and actresses get their Oscars or Golden Globes and put them on display for all to see.
But God, in His infinite wisdom, puts our faith through the fire and is pleased, like a Father, to display the end result for all to see, the purified faith of His children. We become His trophies.