The  Fruitful  Vine

"Thy wife shall be as a FRUITFUL VINE by the sides of thy house." Psalm 128:3a

The Trial of Faith:  Leaning on God's Strength
from an unknown author

A number of years ago, my wife and I were taken on a tour of the Rand Refinery in South Africa. There we saw gold that was 88% pure being heated in crucibles to 1100 degrees centigrade. It was at this extreme temperature that this gold became 99.996% pure, which is the purest form of gold possible. To our amazement, we learned that the last metal to be purified from gold is silver. Silver is very valuable in itself. However, it must be refined from the gold if the gold is to be totally pure. Even in our lives, quite often the last things the Lord purifies and removes from us are those things that are very precious and good in themselves. He removes from lives those things that may be good and yet are not part of God's perfect will for us. Therefore, He asks us to lay them upon the altar before Him and to allow Him to consume them. God wants to purify our hearts so all that is left is His nature and His faith.

The director of this refinery told us that when they boil gold at 1100 degrees, it is a very crucial moment. Refiners have to be extremely careful not to overheat gold at this temperature because gold cannot hold up under any higher temperature. That is why the refiner must sit and watch the gold. He cannot just walk by and casually monitor this refining process. He must concentrate on the gold.

The director went on to tell us that when the refiner can see his own image in the gold, then he knows the work is finished. This is exactly how the Lord Jesus deals with His people. He tries our faith through many fiery trials. Yet He is sitting in the heavenlies watching us ever so carefully to make sure that our crucible is not overheated, for we can be ruined if the heat of our pressures becomes too hot. Many times we think we are at our breaking point where we cannot take any more. However, the Lord says to us, "No, you can take a little more."

All of our trials and pressures are working for our Eternal good. The Lord's Image is being produced in us, and faith is being created in our hearts so that we do not trust in ourselves, but only in Him. Paul, saw fire as an image of testing. Fire burns away impurities in the ore to get to the real essence of the metal. Similarly, the final judgement will test us by burning away worthless impurities in our lives ". . . every man's work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each man's work. If what he has built survives, he will receive his reward. If it is burned up, he will suffer loss; he himself will be saved but only as one escaping through the flames." I Corinthians 3:13-15

Belshazzar's Time Had Ended

Belshazzar's drunken feast raged on, in gross debauchery.
Court officials, to their shame, feasted in this revelry.
The palace women were arrayed with all their finery.
Not once a thought was spared for their eternal destiny.

Suddenly their carnal cries of riot, were arrested.
God's announcement in the words,
was that they had been tested.

The balance, the king had weighed,
His sins God had detested.
And from Belshazzar that night,
the kingdom would be wrested.

Thus God's hand wrote that selfsame night
on Babel's palace wall.
It promised Babel's king that night his empire was to fall.
The message thought the palace raced, and entered every hall.
By Persian sword the judgement fell;
a dreadful, death-filled pall.

Daniel was by God enabled, to read the writing bold:
"Mene, Mene, Tekel, Parsin," from God, the Lord of old;
Heaven's judgment on king and country,
they were sternly told!
The Persians slayed the king that night,
and plundered Babel's gold.

God's written word will be fulfilled, and will not be delayed.
A time is coming for this world for those who are not saved.
Against sin then, His judgment falls;
His hand will not be stayed.

So trust the Lord and be redeemed
while mercy's still displayed.

Published by permission from the author
Ronald E. Ferguson, All Rights Reserved, 1998

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