OceanSide church of Christ
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REASONS BAD THINGS HAPPEN TO GOOD PEOPLE
Victor M. Eskew
A. Faith is one of the most important elements of the Christian’s life.
B. Faith can be described with such words as belief, trust, and confidence. Our faith is supposed to be placed in the person, words, and work of Jesus Christ.
C. Faith is a fragile thing.
1. It can appear to be strong and beautiful, but it can be easily broken.
2. About the time we think we have faith in abundance, we find ourselves doubting and questioning.
3. Jesus often spoke to individuals about “little faith” (Matt. 6:30; 8:26; 14:31; 16:8).
D. All of us would probably affirm that we would like to have a stronger, purer, and more valuable faith. In order for this to happen, we will have to pass through the refining fires of affliction.
E. In others words, we suffer in order to refine our faith.
I. I PETER 1:6-9
Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations: that the trial of your faith, being more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ: whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoce with unspeakable joy and full of glory: receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls.
II. THE REFINING OF GOLD
A. When gold is mined, it is mixed with all types of impurities.
B. In order to isolate pure gold, a refining process must occur.
1. A goldsmith monitors the entire process.
2. Fire is the element through which the gold must pass.
C. The gold is placed into the fire.
1. Different compounds melt at different temperatures.
2. Gold itself does not melt until 1943 degrees Fahrenheit.
3. The gold may have to pass through the fires more than once.
4. The fire is controlled by the goldsmith.
5. The goldsmith never leaves the process while the gold is in the fire.
D. One goldsmith was asked: “How do you know when the gold is purified?” He answered, and said: “When I can see my face in it.”
A. “The intense heat of severe suffering separates our pure faith in God from the dross of our trust in other things. Trust in material things, other people, and ourselves proves insufficient in the heat of intense trials. Only pure faith in God will get us through (21 Reasons, Earley, 165)
B. “God the Goldsmith knows just the right amount of the heat of suffering He will allow in order to purify our faith. He knows exactly how long to allow one hardship to continue to make our faith more than ‘as good as gold.’ He will continue the process until He can see His reflection in the purity of our faith” (21 Reasons, Earley, 167).
IV. A BIBLE EXAMPLE OF REFINING FAITH: JOSEPH
A. The early perception of Joseph by others.
1. Tattle tale (Gen. 37:2)
2. Spoiled by his father (Gen. 37:3)
3. Braggart (Gen. 37:5-11)
4. The youngest
B. The trials that he was put through only caused Joseph to shine brighter and brighter.
1. Overseer in Potipher’s house (Gen. 39:4)
2. Assistant keeper of the prison (Gen. 39:22-23)
3. Second in command in Egypt (Gen. 41:40)
A. You and I can become gold: precious, beautiful, and extremely valuable.
B. Our faith can truly reflect the face of our heavenly Father.
C. To become such, we must pass through the flames of adversity and affliction.