Have you heard the one about the man stuffing his pockets? Seems Saint Peter saw an old man scurrying around heaven with bulging pockets and a smug smile on his face. He said to the man, “Show me what you’re hiding there.” The man hung his head and pulled out a nice-sized chunk of gold. With a laugh, Peter asked, “What? Why are you shoving pavement into your pockets?”
In the Bible, gold is sometimes used to represent faith – it’s the greatest treasure we have, and that’s why the devil is after it. It may appear he’s after our children, our finances, our health or our successes, but he’s actually targeting the thing that holds all those things upright, our faith.
This morning in church, our pastor was quick to point out that our battle isn’t with the devil, he’s already defeated. He said you’ll wear yourself out trying to fight a dead man. He went on to teach us that we’re to fight the good fight of faith, coming against offense and jealousies and anything else that would try to steal away our faith. Tests and trials won’t destroy our faith, they will reveal our faith.
Yet, we resent the trials we face. What good can come of this, we ask?
It’s the dross in our gold; the impurities in our faith, that hold us back. The testing of the fire purifies our gold; our faith.
1 Peter 1:6-7 says, “So be truly glad. There is wonderful joy ahead, even though you have to endure many trials for a little while. These trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold—though your faith is far more precious than mere gold. So when your faith remains strong through many trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world.” (NLT)
Another thing he pointed out is that unlike gold, which only God makes, brass is a man-made alloy, which represents judgment.
I have to ponder, are we working on creating a good-looking piece of brass? Or are we working with God to become more like Him, to perfect our faith?
“I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me.” – Philippians 4:13 (KJV)
“And he shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver: and he shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the LORD an offering in righteousness.” - Malachi 3:3 (KJV)
Photo courtesy of: http://onemansblog.com/2008/03/16/how-gold-is-made-and-refined/