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Tuesday, June 20, 2023

Testing Comes Before Blessing

In Zechariah 13:9 I read, “I will refine them like silver and purify them like gold. They will call on my name, and I will answer them.” (NLT)

Some prayers are answered immediately, while others take weeks, months, or even years. But there’s good news: While I’m praying for God’s answer, I’m going to learn some things that I can’t learn any other way.

In the waiting, there is blessing. One of the blessings is that I learn more about myself when I don’t instantly get everything I want. While working on the prayer, God was working on me.

Why do I have to go through fire? I’m learning that it's for testing and purification. As I pray about something over and over again, my faith tests reveal more about me.

God says in Zechariah 13:9, “I will refine them like silver and purify them like gold” (NLT).

Gold is tested by putting it in a big vat and heating it until it gets so hot that all the impurities are burned off. How do metalsmiths know when gold and silver are pure? When they can see their reflection in them.

God can see his reflection in me as well when the impurities have burned out of my life—after I’ve been through the fire. He says that, after he’s done the testing and purification, “They will call on my name, and I will answer them” (Zechariah 13:9 NLT).

Answered prayer comes after the test. Before every blessing, there is a testing. God tests me with stress before he trusts me with success. These are the principles of persistent prayer.

In this passage from Zechariah, the believers were refined like silver and gold through the fire of their difficult circumstances. So I need to determine to be part of God's remnant, that small part of the whole that is obedient to him. I need to obey God no matter what the rest of the world does. This may mean trials and troubles at times; but as fire purifies gold and silver, I too will be purified and made more like Christ.

God is going to test me before he blesses me. And in that test, I’m going to learn a lot about myself. If I give up praying, I’m never going to learn the lessons that help me become more like Jesus.

So I will keep praying with persistence each day. And remember that after the testing, the blessing will come.