Some time ago I received a copy of Os Hillman’s Marketplace Meditations entitled, “The Purpose of Crucibles”. I wanted to take this opportunity to share some of his thinking with you.

The Psalmist reminds us of an important aspect about our Christianity, “Create in me a clean heart, O God.” – Psalm 51:10

Many of you know that when my mother and father were alive they had a small jewelry business. I enjoyed going to the wholesale jewelry centers and helping them pick out some of the items.

Over the years we learned that the Italians had a method of purifying gold that brought about a much brighter luster and greater strength to their jewelry. As we explored the process used in Italy we realized that their unique refining methods removed more impurities than other techniques.

Hillman’s comments fit right into our understanding of what it takes to refine a life with the same discipline required to produce the best gold.

“The crucible for silver and the furnace for gold, but the Lord tests the heart.” –Proverbs 17:3

“This proverb describes one of God’s strangest mysteries. It is a description of God’s formula to refine the human heart in order to bring out its finest qualities.”

The significant leaders who make the greatest mark for the Kingdom had to experience their own crucible and fire. Without it, the dross can never be removed from the human heart. Without it, the encumbrances weigh us down. God understands the human heart.

He understands that for us to become all that He hopes for us, there are seasons of fire. Joseph went through many tests. Succeeding in the test qualified him for greater responsibility. The greater the use in the Kingdom the greater the crucible to prepare the right foundation.

Some of God’s greatest crucibles are found in the marketplace where we live every day: the employee who betrays our trust, the client who refuses to pay, the vendor who falls short of our expectations, the boss who is impossible to please.

Each of these tests have passed through God’s hands in order for us to grow our faith, refine our character, and learn lessons that may not have come in other ways.

What tests are being brought your way today? His grace has been provided that we might pass the tests that He allows us to experience.

Should we fail, we need not fear. His grace is sufficient for this as well. Ask God for the grace to walk with Him in whatever tests He has placed before you this day. He is able to accomplish what He wants for you.

Seek His grace and discover His desire to purify your life. Have a great week!

— Dr. James E. Grassi