Recently, God has been talking to a couple of us on the Dyed4you Team about His mercy. And as He did, He began talking about His refining fire. Initially I was confused because I would not have thought of trials and refining as being connected to the mercy of God. But as Papa began to give the revelation, He brought to mind Misty Edwards’ song “Servant of All.” In the song, she makes reference to the fact that the Kingdom of God is an “upside down kingdom,” where we die to live and lose to gain. This seemed to parallel what we found with trials and the mercy of God. If we can embrace this upside-down nature, we can truly begin to flourish.
We realized that in the same way that it is kind to remove a splinter or to reset a broken bone – that even though it hurts, it is still an act of mercy because ultimately it allows healing. In the same way, it’s God’s mercy that He refines us and burns away that which hinders or derails us. He loves us too much to leave us in brokenness. If we’re steeped in shame, He loves us too much to leave us there. This brings to mind a verse in Hosea.
Hosea 6:1 (ESV) “Come, let us return to the LORD; for he has torn us, that he may heal us; he has struck us down, and he will bind us up.
So in true upside-down fashion, I think of this as “good pain.” In God’s mercy, He takes us through “good pain” to bring us to a better place. And the beautiful thing is that as we learn to trust Him, we are truly able to embrace the “good pain” because we know His character and know He wouldn’t take us through it unless the fruit it will bear is good. This is what James is referring to.
James 1:2 (NIV) Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds,
So in the end, we truly can “consider it pure joy” because we trust God’s motivations for walking us through these trials. We know His character. We know with full certainty He is El Malei Rachamim – God Full of Mercy, and He wouldn’t take us through anything unless there were good in it. And because we know Him, we love and trust Him for who He is.