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"Peace amid Pain "
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Why is Pain?
First: Jacob and the divine purification (1)

“That the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ” (1Peter 1:7).

The Apostle Peter compares our faith during trials to the Gold entering fire, even if the gold is precious but it is perishable whereas our faith is valuable and imperishable. The Apostle Peter says about it in his second epistle: “A faith as precious as ours, through the righteousness of our God” (2 Peter 1: 1).

Why Gold enters the fire
First: to be refined and cleaned from its impurities so that it gets out pure gold: “When He has tested me, I shall come forth as gold” (Job 23:10)

Second: To be formulated and forged in a way to show the skill of the goldsmith hands. Yes the raw gold is expensive but the refined gold from the hands of the skillful goldsmith is more expensive.

Third : In order not to be affected by factors of erosion and oxidation so it does not change color or lose its luster after a while.

Fourth: In order to examine the degree of its purity and then determine its classification and caliber.

Why do we have to enter into a trial:
First:  So that God cleans us (Jacob and the divine purification)
 It’s true that God’s word cleans us as He says “You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you”(John 15:3), and we may also change by the work of God’s spirit during spiritual meetings and individual retreats; yet there are still impurities in our lives that cannot clear out unless we enter God’s furnace.

When I meditate in the story of Jacob, I wonder and I feel afraid as well; for what a big difference between Jacob standing before Isaac to betray and deceive him, while in the last moments of his life standing before Pharaoh to bless. Jacob before Isaac is a person filled with deception, tricks, evil and selfishness depending on the flesh. Isaac said to Esau: "Your brother came with deceit and has taken away your blessing.” (Genesis 27:35). But the hands of the skillful goldsmith made him enter the fire and were able to purify and clean him at the end of his days.  Jacob has admitted God’s good dealings with him, while he was blessed his son Joseph “The blessings of your father have excelled the blessings of my ancestors.”(Genesis 49:26).

Brother, God’s purpose from the trials is not to perish us but to clean and correct us, He says to Jacob: “Do not fear, O Jacob My servant, says the LORD, for I am with you; for I will make a complete end of all the nations to which I have driven you, but I will not make a complete end of you.  I will rightly correct you, for I will not leave you wholly unpunished.” (Jeremiah 46:28)
The Divine response witnesses about Jacob saying: “He has not observed iniquity in Jacob, nor has He seen wickedness in Israel. The LORD his God is with him.”  We may ask: Oh Lord haven’t you seen any iniquity in Jacob? He was a deceiver who has not misled only his father Isaac but his brother Esau and his uncle Laban too. Aren’t you done of him after all his life full of cheating and deception!!  God Answers: “Behold, I have received a command to bless; He has blessed, and I cannot reverse it”.   "God is not a man, that He should lie, nor a son of man, that He should repent. Has He said, and will He not do? Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good?" (Numbers 23:19-21)

God’s blessings are not reversed and his loving kindnesses do not ever stop even if He uses the fire to clean us for He who is said to: "He will again have compassion on us, And will subdue our iniquities, You will cast all our sins Into the depths of the sea, You will give truth to Jacob, And mercy to Abraham, Which You have sworn to our fathers From days of old.”(Micah 7:19,20)

Magdy Samuel

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